Towards an interoperability ontology for software development tools
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The automation of software development has long been a goal of software engineering to increase efficiency of the development effort and improve the software product. This efficiency (high productivity with less software faults) results from best practices in building, managing and tes ting software projects via the use of these automated tools and processes. However, each software development tool has its own characteristics, semantics, objects, and concepts. While there have been significant results achieved by use of automated software development tools (coming mainly from the widespread increase of customers' adoption of these tools), there remains many challenging obstacles: lack of communication between the different software development tools, poor shared understanding; use of di fferent syntax and concepts between tools, limits in interoperability between tools, absence of a unifying conceptual models and ideas between tools, and redundant work and cross purposes between tools. The approach undertaken in this thesis to overcome th ese obstacles was to construct a "pilot" ontology that is extensible. We applied the Feature-Oriented Domain Analysis approach to capture the commonalities between two software development tools (Rational Software Corporation's RequisitePro, a main -stream, complex, commercial tool), and a software prototyping tool (the Software Engineering Automation tool (SEATools), a research model with tool support for developing executable software prototypes) and developed an ontology for the software development tool s using the ProtgÌ Ì -2000 System. The ontology expressed in UML, promotes interoperability and enhanced communication.
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