Here is a view on the Eclipse Modeling Platform in the light of the key note by Jeff Norris he held at ESE this Wednesday. He made the point that innovation requires having a vision, being willing to take risks and to stay uncommitted as long as possible in order to keep agility high.
Vision – the Eclipse Modeling Platform has an agreed vision “The Eclipse Modeling Platform (EMP) is an industrial quality integrated software platform designed to enable a complete tool chain of model-centric tools. It will be based on existing Eclipse modeling technologies but focus on better integration, quality, scalability and usability for use in the enterprise“.
Risks –the group is certainly willing to take risks but it is also important to mitigate known risks. So far the group has not worked out a risk list. A solid risk management will be needed as part of the wider initiative going forward. One of the risks is that the projects do not pick up the envisioned interfaces and that the fragmentation stays as it is.
Commitment – stay uncommitted as long as possible but when the point comes make the required decision. An iterative approach tackling the right things at the right time in the right way is hence imperative.
The key point is to get the architecture sound and stable so that technology suppliers, tool providers and consumers can hook into the platform.
This means that for all technology providers know what they have to respect in order to contribute to the platform. The overall initiative must have a snowball effect with the architecture and the standard interfaces as its core.
There is an iterative plan which follows the priorities defined by the workgroup participants. The important point is that the initiative delivers iteratively interfaces and implemented reference services and consumers which can be used by all modeling projects and provides them a benefit. The plan complementing the gap analysis shows the following milestones:
· The 1st milestone’s focus is on establishing a sound architecture and on closing some of the obvious gaps in individual technologies.
· The 2nd milestone mainly provides a revised version of UML support which can work on the repository as well as merging functionality.
· The 3rd milestone mainly adds traceability, security and more support of versioning and evolution of models or parts thereof.
· The 4th milestone adds multi user and distributed team support as well as first functionality for model management.
An industry working group is envisioned to implement realize the vision. For me the key point is that interfaces are defined which get a wide acceptance so that the integration of the individual technologies becomes as smooth as possible. The difficult point is that we talk here about interfaces which may (or even should) be implemented and also used by many projects.
If you or your company is interested to join the initiative, then please contact Ian Skerrett.