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While Model-Driven Development (MDD) is an increasingly popular software development approach, its impact on the development process in large-scale, industrial practice is not yet clear. For this study the application of MDD in a large-scale industrial software development project is analyzed over a period of two years. Applying a grounded theory approach we identified 14 factors which impact the architectural process. We found that scope creep is more likely to occur, late changes can imply more extensive rework and that business engineers need to be more aware of the technical impact of their decisions. In addition, the introduced Domain-Specific Language (DSL) provides a new common idiom that can be used by more team members and will ease communication among team members and with clients. Also, modelers need to be much more explicit and complete in their descriptions. Parallel development of a code generator and defining a proper meta-model require additional time investments. Lastly, the more central role of software architecture design documentation requires more structured, detailed and complete architectural information and consequently, more frequent reviews.
Date of Conference: 1-3 Sept. 2010