Standardised Eclipse modelling project proposed: UML2 Project

Chris Mayer

Badly needed to avoid incompatibility for future Eclipse release trains, this new project will bundle together the growing number of implementations in one repository

The Eclipse Modelling community is one of the larger spokes in the Eclipse engine, and as a result we’ve seen a number of new implementations appear making it increasingly difficult to keep everything standardised.

In an attempt to counteract this, a new Eclipse modeling project proposal has emerged hoping to instigate evolution for UML profiles and create a de facto standard.

The scope for the Eclipse UML2 Profiles project is quite wideranging. The main goal is to provide the Eclipse modelling community and appropriate vendors with the latest implementation for UML profiles and facilitate a change for the Eclipse MDT UML project itself through standardisation.

By establishing a central UML profile repository, drawing in alreadyadopted profiles from the community, the hope is to quell diversification before it becomes too much. Currently there are numerous profiles scattered around, mostly at the Object Management Group (OMG).  They maintain profiles such as the Systems Engineering Modelling Language (SysML) and the UML Testing Profile, so it makes sense to bundle them together and avoid incompatibility among Eclipse-based tools. Keeping compatibility is critical to Eclipse release trains, so tackling this problem early is a shrewd decision.

Through this initiative, a profile’s evolution can be tracked far more easily within the Eclipse MDT central repository and reflected almost immediately. It might also help the community find newer UML profiles to use in their environment. Each UML profile implementation would comprise the UML-based model of the profile and its corresponding EMF-based implementation.

Intended role of the UML2 Profiles project within the overall EMF technology stack.

The Papyrus Project will play a close role here too, being Eclipse’s dedicated rich modelling environment. Convenience tooling and graphical support for the profile implementation is out of the project scope, which is expected given the changes needed to occur here.

Fraunhofer FOKUS’s Marc-Florian Wendland and CEA LIST’s Sébastien Gerard will act as Project Leads and the earliest implementations will arrive in November, assuming all goes to plan. WIth several vendors, such as Airbus and Ericsson already pledging allegiance, it shows you how important standardisation is to the industry. Further details on the UML2 Project can be found here.

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