CG2007 Programme Information
Session Title Designing a DSL for Information Systems Architecture

Session Type Workshop

Duration 150 minutes

Session Description

A workshop that will attempt to identify the requirements and likely form of a visually oriented language for describing the architecture of information systems and a supporting platform to allow the architectural structures to be preserved at runtime.

Part of the job of the software architect is to create a coherent and useful architectural description so that the architecture of their system can be communicated to and understood by interested stakeholders (including the architect himself).

UML is the de facto standard language for describing software models, but it is primarily an object-oriented software design notation and many architects find it difficult to express their ideas using it. UML's higher-level primitives also aren't directly supported by any widely deployed software platform.

Alternatives to UML have been proposed in both the academic community (in the form of Architectural Description Languages like ACME, xADL and Wright) and the industrial community (for example Gregor Holpe's "gregorgrams" notation used in his EAI patterns book). However, these alternatives have not been widely adopted by working information systems architects. The result of this situation is that most architects end up inventing their own notation and so lose control and visibility of their architectural structures as implementation progresses.

This workshop will allow participants to consider what the ideal architectural DSL for information systems would look like and the set of primitives that an underlying software platform would need to provide in order to support simple code generation and runtime introspection from the DSL.

Session Leaders

Eoin Woods has been working in software engineering of some sort since 1990. He has worked for a number of companies in that time, including Bull, Sybase, Zuhlke and InterTrust, as well as working as an independent consultant for a spell. Today, Eoin works for UBS Investment Bank, as a software and enterprise architect in the IT stream supporting the Exchange Traded Derivatives (ETD) business. He is a regular speaker at software architecture related events like SPA, EWSA, WICSA and EAC and is programme chair for SPA2007 and WICSA2008. He is also co-author of the book "Software Systems Architecture" with Nick Rozanski.

Nick Rozanski is a Technical Architect with M&S. His portfolio includes enterprise integration, business process management (aka workflow) and business intelligence. Nick has worked in IT since 1979. Prior to joining his current employer, he was a Technical Architect at French Thornton and CGEY and a Principal Consultant at Sybase Professional Services. He has also worked for Praxis and Logica.

Over the years he has taken senior roles on projects for a wide range of public and private sector clients. As a Technical Architect, he is involved in creating and documenting the architectural strategy and vision, promoting this amongst stakeholders and working with programmes and projects to turn it into reality. His technology background includes enterprise application integration, package implementation, relational database, data replication, and object-oriented software development. Nick also has a book on software architecture with Eoin Woods - "Software Systems Architecture".