Model-based reuse for crosscutting frameworks: assessing reuse and maintenance effort
Keywords:Application Engineer, Base Application, Domain Specific Language, Reuse Code, Maintenance Study
Over the last years, a number of researchers have investigated how to improve the reuse of crosscutting concerns. New possibilities have emerged with the advent of aspect-oriented programming, and many frameworks were designed considering the abstractions provided by this new paradigm. We call this type of framework Crosscutting Frameworks (CF), as it usually encapsulates a generic and abstract design of one crosscutting concern. However, most of the proposed CFs employ white-box strategies in their reuse process, requiring two mainly technical skills: (i) knowing syntax details of the programming language employed to build the framework and (ii) being aware of the architectural details of the CF and its internal nomenclature. Also, another problem is that the reuse process can only be initiated as soon as the development process reaches the implementation phase, preventing it from starting earlier.Method
In order to solve these problems, we present in this paper a model-based approach for reusing CFs which shields application engineers from technical details, letting him/her concentrate on what the framework really needs from the application under development. To support our approach, two models are proposed: the Reuse Requirements Model (RRM) and the Reuse Model (RM). The former must be used to describe the framework structure and the later is in charge of supporting the reuse process. As soon as the application engineer has filled in the RM, the reuse code can be automatically generated.Results
We also present here the result of two comparative experiments using two versions of a Persistence CF: the original one, whose reuse process is based on writing code, and the new one, which is model-based. The first experiment evaluated the productivity during the reuse process, and the second one evaluated the effort of maintaining applications developed with both CF versions. The results show the improvement of 97% in the productivity; however little difference was perceived regarding the effort for maintaining the required application.Conclusion
By using the approach herein presented, it was possible to conclude the following: (i) it is possible to automate the instantiation of CFs, and (ii) the productivity of developers are improved as long as they use a model-based instantiation approach.