Concepts for Comparing Modeling Tool Architectures

Colin Atkinson and Thomas Kühne


As model-driven development techniques grow in importance so do the capabilities and features of the tools that support them, especially tools that allow users to customize their modeling language. Superficially, many modeling tools seem to offer similar functionality, but under the surface there are important differences that can have an impact on tool builders and users depending on the tool architecture chosen. At present, however, there is no established conceptual framework for characterizing and comparing different tool architectures. In this paper we address this problem by first introducing a conceptual framework for capturing tool architectures, and then— using this framework— discuss the choices available to designers of tools. We then compare and contrast the main canonical architectures in use today.

15 pages.