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Model-based M2M transformations based on drag-and-drop actions: Approach and implementation


Publication date: December 2016 Source:Journal of Systems and Software, Volume 122 Author(s): Tomas Skersys, Paulius Danenas, Rimantas Butleris

In the context of model-driven development, model-to-model (M2M) transformations are often positioned as one of the key selling features of this ever-growing paradigm. Indeed, M2M transformations can speed up the development process by automating certain modeling tasks, enable reusability of existing models within a single or even multiple projects, and bring other actual benefits to a systems developer. Nevertheless, CASE tool-supported M2M transformations are quite often represented as hard-coded “black-box” solutions lacking flexibility and customization features. This paper presents main conceptual and implementation aspects of a practical approach for both the development and application of model-based, customizable M2M transformations. The transformation is triggered by so called drag-and-drop action, which is enacted after a certain element is dragged from a model browser and dropped into a diagram or onto some other element representation in the diagram. Another distinctive feature of the presented approach is the introduction of “partial M2M transformation”. The term assumes a transformation of a user-defined fragment of the source model into a fragment of the target model, instead of taking whole models as in case of full M2M transformation. The presented solution improves overall usability of such M2M transformations in an actual CASE tool environment.