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Generating Specification Documents from Models using BIRT

 

Abstract: The current process of producing OMG specifications, which typically documents relevant normative models, is very tedious and error prone. This is mainly due to the manual effort involved in editing the documents, keeping them in sync with the models and maintaining a consistent style. A good percentage of issues logged against OMG specifications can be classified as consistency related and thus addressing this problem alone promises tremendous gains in the quality of the specifications and the productivity of the task forces looking after them. Fortunately, tools exist that can help with producing documents from structured models. Eclipse’s Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) is one such tool. Using BIRT, one can visually create a specification document template that is linked to an MOF (EMF)-based model data source. The template would extract relevant data from models, like abstract syntax details, documentation and diagrams and format them in the expected way. Since most normative models at OMG are created using UML tools (e.g. RSA), a special UML profile can be designed and applied to the models to help structure them for processing by the template. This presentation describes an initial attempt at designing such a template using BIRT and reports on the successes and challenges faced so far. The template is being used to produce the Diagram Definition revised submission document.

Venue: The second Eclipse / OMG symposium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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