The 8th Workshop on Domain-Specific Modeling


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The Model Repository:
More than just XML under version control

or: Domain-Specific Modeling: 20 years of progress?

Steven Kelly, Ph.D. - MetaCase
20 October 2008


There is increased awareness within the modeling arena of the need for a central repository of system description information. This is brought on by a growing recognition that only with a strong central repository can modeling tools be integrated, cope with large projects, provide full life-cycle support, produce complete documentation, perform system-wide validation and verification, and adequately control a project. In examining the various approaches chosen or proposed by various tool providers and users vendors, it is apparent that for many a model repository is nothing more than an off-the-shelf version control system into which XML files are saved. However, as this talk will demonstrate, current version control systems and XML cannot be successfully employed as a model repository.


This keynote is homage to Richard J. Welke's article from 1988, "The CASE Repository: More than another database application", which laid out the requirements for a model repository and meta-metamodel. The article is as relevant today as it was 20 years ago -- in fact, with the increased interest and usage of modeling, it is even more relevant now.


Presentation slides (PDF)


Dr. Steven Kelly is the CTO of MetaCase and co-founder of the DSM Forum. He has over ten years of experience of building metaCASE environments and acting as a consultant on their use in Domain-Specific Modeling. As architect and lead developer of MetaEdit+, MetaCase's domain-specific modeling tool, he has seen it win or be a finalist in awards from Byte, the Innosuomi prize for innovation awarded by the Finnish President, Net.Object Days, and the Software Development Jolt awards. Ever present on the program committee of the OOPSLA workshops on Domain-Specific Modeling, he co-organized the first workshop in 2001. He is author of a book and over 20 articles, most recently in journals such as Dr. Dobb's and ObjektSpektrum, and is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Database Management. He has an M.A. (Hons.) in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Cambridge, and a Ph.D. from the University of Jyväskylä. His computer education began with machine code, Assembler and BASIC, and came to rest in Smalltalk. Outside of work, he has co-authored the first grammar of the Kenyan Orma language, and is a soccer player in the Finnish Third Division.