Publishing models documentation at Eclipse DemoCamp Grenoble

21 June, 2012 (18:38) | Event, News, Report | By Marc Dutoo

Juno’s Hot in June

So what’s hot in Juno, the upcoming latest Eclipse yearly release? As planned, Yoann and I were at the Eclipse Juno DemoCamp hosted by Xerox Lab in Grenoble on June the 13th  to listen to the quick list of BonitaSoft’s Aurélien Pupier.

For all hardcore Eclipse fans among you, here it is: xcore (a DSL for EMF using xtext), xtend (an extended Java language using on the fly code generation to provide a RoR / Groovy & al.-like experience) and EMF support for Mylyn (two hot Eclipse assets brought together). That’s a lot of EMF if you ask me, but it is only natural since EMF is now part of the core of the Eclipse 4.x series – indeed, Juno is also the first Eclipse release where the first target is the 4.x branch, with the 3.x kept as secondary.

From Eclipse to Document Management – JWT & EasySOA as demo guests

Now, on EasySOA’s side, we had pretty hot stuff in our saddlebags also. First Yoann gave the audience a rocky ride (ha!) with his SVG Export quickie. Then we came around to the main point (slides here): how business domain models designed in Eclipse can valuably go in a Document Management System (DMS) along with generated documentation (such images, HTML, PDF) and get a new life there as design documentation that is versioned, published and available to all, from business users to developers. Saying it otherwise, there’s a life for models after design time, and that’s as reference and documentation.

Note that we are not talking about collaborative model editing, as in Eclipse Dawn / CDO, but at what happens once edition has ended and how to make it valuable beyond Eclipse-using business analysts and architects.

This is a larger problem than specific Eclipse BPMN / Mangrove integration with EasySOA Core as demonstrated last year at the same place, that we sought to answer with a far more generic solution. To make things short, it involves the CMIS standard and its Apache Chemistry client on the DMS side, and a customizable ATL model-to-model transformation with matching and filtering strategies on the Eclipse EMF model side.

Our demonstration has been done in the case of Eclipse Java Workflow Tooling (JWT) models (for now it’s been prototyped as an Eclipse JWT transformation). It’s been tested to work with a bare Nuxeo DMS as well as with its Alfresco Open Source competitor. From here, we’d like to write an ATL transformation more specific to the EasySOA Core extensions to the Nuxeo model.

It’s raised some interest in Eclipse SOA partners (Xerox & Obeo to name a few), we’re talking with others, so we’ll see what may become out of it. If you’re interested, write to the EasySOA or JWT mailing list!

Some More Sweets

Other topics on the side included e4 (nicely illustrated overview by Michael Istria), GMF and Tycho (time to give your Eclipse build more than a facelift – Chris ?), while topics on the research side gave overviews of advanced uses of Eclipse technologies.

Among these, automatic suggestion of model constraints (OCL for EMF) was presented by Juan Cadavid, who crossed France from the Rennes Kermeta team and met for the first time after contributing years back a lot of Eclipse SOA members – including my very self. Thierry Jacquin of Xerox showed how to seamlessly bridge GMF and XText modeling. Finally, Andy Gotz introduced the Dawn Science data analysis workbench, whose embedded workflow editor with graphical data mapping and Ptolemy engine made me think of SCA graphics and JWT features.

So you could have learnt that and a lot more if you were among the happy bunch in Grenoble last week. I was there and can report having also  enjoyed muffins and beers galore, all in an atmosphere of innovation, sharing and friendliness. So congrats to both organizers and sponsors (Eclipse & Xerox)!


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