Development and Evaluation of a Graphical Notation for Modelling Resource-Oriented Applications
Modeling applications using graphical or textual domain-specific languages (DSL)) is a constant subject of research and development in modern software engineering. DSLs improve productivity of the developers and aid in bridging the gap to domain experts. However, model-driven development of resource-oriented applications is not well supported through specialized tools yet. Using generic modeling languages like UML is possible. Regrettably, this does not reflect the special needs of the resource-oriented approach to application design. Dedicated support for the development of such applications is desirable. Especially, the development of graphical languages suffers from a lack of focus on cognitive effective syntax. Modeling semantics is regarded with far more importance than modeling syntax. In his work “The physics of notations”, Daniel Moody therefore proposes nine principles that aid in the development of proper graphical syntax. These nine principles form a modular framework for the development of a cognitive effective visual language. The work at hand presents a new graphical notation for the development of resource- oriented applications, built on the nine principles postulated by Daniel Moody. The notation is based on a given meta-model and offers distinct views on distinct parts of that meta-model. The views together form a consistent representation of the concrete model instance of the modeled application. To assess how well the design principles were incorporated in the design of the new notation, an evaluation using a questionnaire is performed. The results of the survey are presented and discussed. Finally, the prototypical implementation of an Eclipse-based editor for modeling resource-oriented applications based on the new notation is presented.
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