The BritAir company has adopted a Model-Driven Development approach to fully generate Eclipse RCP applications from UML models.

The principle is based on two main ideas:

  • A model describing the business data (entities, identifiers, attributes, child/parent relationships)
  • An automatic generation of graphical interfaces (Eclipse RCP) for classic functions (cread, read, update, delete, search and export to Excel).

The generated applications are complete and don't require any additional code (the business rules are also transleted into Java). They are deployed on servers with Tomcat, Xfire and Oracle.

BritAir's IS Manager has identified several benefits of this MDD process:

  • Industrialization of the development activity: normalization of modeling and coding, and better documentation.
  • Independance of the models from the target architecture (neither RCP nor Hibernate concepts in the models).
  • Design is mandatory, in order to generate the application.
  • Better quality of code, since it has been qualified first and then converted into generation rules
  • Better productivity: during its talk, Olivier Corbel said that the development managers have evaluated to 10 the productivity ratio on these projects!
  • User experience: the applications are homogeneous and always provide the same ergonomy to the users
  • Prototyping: it is easier to provide early versions to users and take their feedback into account to improve the application

For more details please read the full story.