Project: Viewpoint Based Modeling

Modelling techniques are widely used nowadays, in particular with standard modelling languages (UML, BPMN), or with proprietary and doCO specific modelling languages such as those supported by BPM or Enterprise Architecture tools. It however appears that their usage has reached a threshold - between 20% and 30% of software projects - and that a wider usage and diffusion needs more added values and perceived ROI by end users._x000D__x000D_Modelling languages are indeed tool boxes that need to be supported by dedicated approaches or methods. One key issue is that end users who are not mastering these methods don't know how to properly use and combine modelling languages, and how to get benefit from them._x000D__x000D_Applying a method is a hard task, in general dedicated to large organizations. It necessitates support, quality or methods departments, etc. Methods can indeed be translated into tooling: each time a model is used for a specific purpose, a specific method is needed. Modelling for databases, system modelling, modelling for analysis, modelling for Java development, modelling for SOA applications, are a few examples of needed methods for dedicated purposes. Here, the term “method” is used in much focused examples, compared to larger scope method such as RUP, SCRUM, DODAF, TOGAF, etc. There is a necessity of combining these low granularity “methods” to support one of the larger scope methods, or to provide an ad hoc method for a given project._x000D__x000D_Complex systems can always be seen from several different perspectives (viewpoints), and their separation into different views is a powerful means to reduce complexity and master their implementation. The Viewpoint technique appears as a powerful means to address the system’s complexity, and to organize the expertise of participants. It offers means to represent and support each specific focus (using views), and to combine these focuses on models._x000D__x000D_The Viewpoint mechanism can thus provide means to filter models, to organize them, to apply specific consistency rules, to provide dedicated tools (such as generators, checkers, model transformers, etc.) depending on the considered view. Each view represents the perspective of a group of participants involved in system development or analysis. For example Technical system architects, Business Analysts, Software architects, Java programmers, Database designers, Safety engineers, and Quality experts can be focused on different aspects of the system corresponding to their respective area of interest._x000D__x000D_Viewpoints enable organizing in different ways the same model, depending on the usage readers want to have: for example, a UML model can be organized using packages into families of elements (e.g. Use Cases, Class models) or (exclusively) into functional or conceptual decomposition (e.g. system administration, statistics, end user application, etc.). Viewpoints are not limited by the “hierarchical organization constraints”, and allow multiple organization/classification of a system’s model. They are an orthogonal concept to existing model organization concepts. A complete Viewpoint analysis is detailed in the technical annex of the CA._x000D__x000D_Viewpoints help in managing and mastering the complexity of systems by splitting this complexity into different views specific to each problem or usage, such as functional issues, distribution issues, security issues, etc., and by allowing multiple classifications and structuring of its elements._x000D__x000D_The goal of the ViBaM project is to provide modelling tools supporting viewpoints with a set of predefined “off the shelf” methods, which are specifically tooled viewpoints. The tools must also allow the definition and the tooling of new viewpoints by the end users._x000D__x000D_This tooling is targeting the modelling and model analysis tool market, including the software development market. This includes the Enterprise Architecture/BPM doCO and the Embedded Software doCO. Large companies will be able to implement and tool their own methods and approaches, whereas SME’s will find off the shelf predefined methods that will provide an immediate usage and added value._x000D__x000D_ViBaM will gather three relevant entities in the modelling community: SOFTEAM and ikv, European SMEs; and DFKI, a Research center. During the next two years, the Ps will work together, sharing all their knowhow in order to develop this Viewpoint based modelling toolset._x000D__x000D_The consortium, led by SOFTEAM, plans to provide three specific milestones during this period, which are “Gathering Viewpoint survey & requirements”, “Viewpoint support definition” and “Viewpoint tooling support implementation” in order to reach a final support and tooling assessment. The outcomes for the industrial Ps will be the extension of their current products to a more complete offer; DFKI will improve its expertise, which will be profitable for future projects in this field._x000D__x000D_Finally, the ViBaM project could provide real new and solid inputs in the future modelling standards.

Acronym ViBaM (Reference Number: 5529)
Duration 01/09/2010 - 31/08/2012
Project Topic ViBaM aims at introducing viewpoints in software development tools and support in order to master complexity and increase ROI for end users in software and embedded systems engineering, core expertise of the Ps [SOFTEAM (FR-SME-leader-initiator), ikv++ (DE-SME) and DFKI (DE-Research Center)].
Project Results
(after finalisation)
The ViBaM project has validated the interest of supporting the ViewPoint concept within modeling tools. Prototypes have been implemented, and use cases have been realized for specific doCOs._x000D_SOFTEAM has in particular built prototypes based on the Modelio modeling tool, targetted to the Enterprise Architecture doCO.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 4

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
3 ikv++ Technologies ag Partner Germany
3 SOFTEAM Coordinator France
3 DFKI - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH Partner Germany