Microsoft's Commitment to Model-Driven Approaches
In the dynamic sphere of software development, model-driven approaches are gaining serious traction for their potential to revolutionize the way software is designed and developed. Over the past year, tech giant Microsoft has thrown its hat into the ring, signaling a deep commitment to these approaches with a range of strategic moves and public statements.
Signals from the Top
These signals have originated from the top echelons of the company, emphasizing the importance of a model orientation in software development. During its recent Professional Developers Conference, Microsoft further reinforced this commitment by unveiling a pioneering modeling tool designed specifically for rapidly developing Web services.
One of Microsoft's critical moves towards realizing its model-driven ambition has been the strategic hiring of some of the industry's leading talents in the model-driven systems field. A notable figure among these recruits is Steve Cook, renowned for his extensive experience and contributions in the discipline of formal specification during his tenure with IBM.
At IBM, Steve was instrumental in the creation of the Object Constraint Language (OCL), which eventually became a part of Unified Modeling Language (UML). He was also a key contributor to the Precise UML (pUML) group, continually pushing the architects of UML towards modeling with precision and formality.
Principles for Model-Driven Systems
In his new role at Microsoft, Cook has continued his pioneering work. He has outlined some fundamental principles that Microsoft will adhere to as it ventures deeper into the domain of model-driven systems. Key among these principles are the concepts of product lines and domain-specific languages.
The original concept of product lines emerged from the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute, the same institution that introduced the Capability Maturity Model (CMM). Cook's emphasis on this concept signifies its critical role in Microsoft's model-driven strategy.
Domain-specific languages have been highlighted as crucial elements in the modeling sphere. While general-purpose modeling languages such as UML offer considerable capabilities, domain-specific languages are recognized for their ability to extend these capabilities significantly. The value of these languages in Model-Driven Architecture (MDA) has been previously highlighted, but Microsoft's bold integration of product lines, domain-specific languages, and models is a step towards a more comprehensive and coherent model-driven approach.
An upcoming book titled "Software Factories," authored by key members of Cook's team at Microsoft, encapsulates these ideas. It presents an impressive conceptual framework that combines ideas about product lines, domain-specific languages, and models into a comprehensive whole that exceeds the sum of its parts.
In essence, Microsoft's commitment to model-driven approaches is more than just a strategic shift. It marks the company's dedicated endeavor to revolutionize the software development landscape. By integrating key concepts and expressing a commitment to actualize these ideas in its tools, Microsoft is leading the way towards a more advanced and efficient future for software development.