The Kitalpha project is a proposed open source project under the PolarSys Top level Project.
This proposal is in the Project Proposal Phase (as defined in the Eclipse Development Process) and is written to declare its intent and scope. We solicit additional participation and input from the Eclipse community. Please send all feedback to the Eclipse Proposals Forum.
In system and software engineering, a common need during the phases of analysis, design, and implementation, is to describe a system. Several standards have been established to define a shared notation or concepts for system description. For instance:
Multiple tools implement such standards. At Eclipse, UML2 and Papyrus implement the UML standard. While it would be possible to implement the ISO/IEC 42010 standard with a UML tool, no Eclipse or PolarSys component has natively implemented it yet.
Kitalpha is a modeling component which implements the ISO/IEC 42010 standard for system description in system and software engineering. It provides both a development and runtime environment to create and execute rich MBE (model-based engineering) workbenches (e.g., edition with diagrams, documentation, import/export, model transformation / analysis / validation) for system / software architects and engineers in small- to large-scale projects.
For reusability, the development environment contains a kit of MBE core components, i.e. a set of engineering bricks common to different variants of MBE workbenches such as a semantic browser, impact analyzer, or import/export functions.
Conforming with this standard, an MBE workbench is an architecture framework which aggregates viewpoints clearly separating concerns (e.g., performance, safety, security, cost). A viewpoint is an engineering extension which comes with its own metamodels, representations (e.g., diagrams, tables, user interfaces), rules (e.g., validation, analysis, transformation), services and tools to address an engineering specialty. Consequently, an MBE workbench is the result of a flexible assembly of core viewpoints extended by new ones which are, in the context of co-engineering, appropriate and valuable for specialty engineers. The set of all the viewpoints defines the complete description of a system.
To build MBE workbenches, designers must be autonomous in creating and maintaining their own viewpoints, without coding. Developers can enrich them afterward, for instance for algorithm implementation. To meet this requirement, Kitalpha offers a development environment made of DSLs (Domain-Specific Languages) to assist designers and developers in their architecture frameworks and viewpoints development activity activities. For instance, textual editors make it possible to declare viewpoint metamodels, user interfaces, diagrams, or services. From those DSLs, generators build all the architecture framework and viewpoint artifacts. For example, the declaration of diagrams using DSLs becomes the technical description of Sirius diagrams. During the stages of edition with DSLs and generation, the notion of target application is introduced to manage the variability of environments in which the artifacts are to be deployed and executed (e.g., DSL vs. UML, CDO vs. XMI environments).
Figure 1. Development Process Overview
The Kitalpha development environment also provides MBE core components to develop complete MBE workbenches, for instance for the functions of import/export (e.g., for data exchange with MBE workbenches or specialty tools), model transformations with traceability, or html documentation generation.
Kitalpha potentially has the ability to implement architecture framework standards (e.g., TOGAF/MODAF) but also proprietary method or domain workbenches.
Figure 2. Illustration of MBE workbench
This rest of this section describes the key features of Kitalpha.
Kitalpha can be considered as a meta-tool. The following picture presents the different working contexts with regard to Kitalpha.
Figure 3. Position of Kitalpha
Kitalpha is divided into two layers:
The CTK is dedicated to host a set of added-value technological components which are not provided by Eclipse components or to adapt existing tools for a specific purpose (e.g., adaptation of the standard EGF factories). A substantial tool or set of tools can be grouped in a Kitalpha sub-project for a better partitioning and decoupling of the sub-components development lifecycles.
The ISO/IEC-42010 standard is intentionally general in order to be open and declined into multiple implementations. The following parts present the choices made to implement the standard.
In compliance with the standard, a Kitalpha architecture framework aggregates viewpoints. A Kitalpha viewpoint is defined as:
Kitalpha provides both development and runtime services to define, use and manage architecture frameworks and viewpoints.
Main services at development time are:
Main services at runtime are:
By releasing and developing Kitalpha publicly, the objectives are the following:
The Kitalpha project is based on Eclipse Modeling projects, notably:
The initial contribution includes:
All contributions will be distributed under the Eclipse Public License.
The following individuals are proposed as initial committers to the project:
We welcome additional committers and contributions.
Thales will provide the initial contribution which has been developed in the context of the Sys2Soft (BGLE) and Crystal (Artemis) project and that is already deployed in an industrial context. AIRBUS and ATOS will contribute minor modelling features developed in TOPCASED. Additional contributors of the initial version:
The following Architecture Council members will mentor this project:
The following individuals, organizations, companies and projects have expressed interest in this project:
|22-January-2014||Version for proposal|
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