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A language and environment for architecture-based software development and evolution

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3 Author(s)
N. Medvidovic ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA ; D. S. Rosenblum ; R. N. Taylor

Software architectures have the potential to substantially improve the development and evolution of large, complex, multi-lingual, multi-platform, long-running systems. However, in order to achieve this potential, specific techniques for architecture-based modeling, analysis, and evolution must be provided. Furthermore, one cannot fully benefit from such techniques unless support for mapping an architecture to an implementation also exists. This paper motivates and presents one such approach, which is an outgrowth of our experience with systems developed and evolved according to the C2 architectural style. We describe an architecture description language (ADL) specifically designed to support architecture-based evolution and discuss the kinds of evolution the language supports. We then describe a component-based environment that enables modeling, analysis, and evolution of architectures expressed in the ADL, as well as mapping of architectural models to an implementation infrastructure. The architecture of the environment itself can be evolved easily to support multiple ADLs, kinds of analyses, architectural styles, and implementation platforms. Our approach is fully reflexive: the environment can be used to describe, analyze, evolve, and (partially) implement itself, using the very ADL it supports. An existing architecture is used throughout the paper to provide illustrations and examples.

Published in:

Software Engineering, 1999. Proceedings of the 1999 International Conference on

Date of Conference:

22-22 May 1999