Several activities around the world aim at integrating object-oriented data models with relational ones in order to improve database management systems. As a first result of these activities, object-relational database management systems (ORDBMS) are already commercially available and, simultaneously, are subject to several research projects. This (position) paper reports on our activities in exploiting object-relational database technology for establishing repository manager functionality supporting software engineering (SE) processes. We argue that some of the key features of ORDBMS can directly be exploited to fulfill many of the needs of SE processes. Thus, ORDBMS, as we think, are much better suited to support SE applications than any others. Nevertheless, additional functionality, e. g., providing adequate version management, is required in order to gain a completely satisfying SE repository. In order to remain flexible, we have developed a generative approach for providing this additional functionality. It remains to be seen whether this approach, in turn, can effectively exploit ORDBMS features. This paper, therefore, wants to show that ORDBMS can substantially contribute to both establishing and running SE repositories.
For transferring existing knowledge into new projects, reuse has become an important factor in today's software industry. However, to set reuse into practice, reusable artifacts have to be stored somewhere, and must be offered to (re-)users on demand. For this purpose, advanced reuse repository systems like, for instance, instantiations of the Experience Base concept, are quite frequently used. Many people, from different projects, have to access such a repository at various phases of software development processes to retrieve or store reusable data. In order to fulfill the given tasks, each of these user has specific needs. Taking this into account, a reuse repository has to offer tailored user interfaces and functions for different user groups. Furthermore, since the contents of such a repository usually represent the state of the art of an organization's (core) competencies, not everyone should be allowed to freely access each and every repository entry. This isespecially true for persons that are not part of the organization. This report discusses role concepts that can be applied to reuse repository systems to overcome some of the stated access problems. Commonly used roles for software development and reuse repository management are listed. Based on these roles, a basic set of roles, as implemented in the SFB 501 Experience Base, is introduced.
Comprehensive reuse and systematic evolution of reuse artifacts as proposed by the Quality Improvement Paradigm (QIP) do not only require tool support for mere storage and retrieval. Rather, an integrated management of (potentially reusable) experience data as well as project-related data is needed. This paper presents an approach exploiting object-relational database technology to implement the QIP-driven reuse repository of the SFB 501. Requirements, concepts, and implementational aspects are discussed and illustrated through a running example, namely the reuse and continuous improvement of SDL patterns for developing distributed systems. Based on this discussion, we argue that object-relational database management systems (ORDBMS) are best suited to implement such a comprehensive reuse repository. It is demonstrated how this technology can be used to support all phases of a reuse process and the accompanying improvement cycle. Although the discussions of this paper are strongly related to the requirements of the SFB 501 experience base, the basic realization concepts, and, thereby, the applicability of ORDBMS, can easily be extended to similar applications, i. e., reuse repositories in general.
Software development organizations are recognizing the increasing importance of investing in the build-up of core competencies for their competitiveness in software system development. This is supported by reuse and experience repository systems that assist in capturing and reusing all kinds of software artifacts (e. g., code, patterns, frameworks) and processes as well as experiences related to these artifacts and processes. To justify such an investment and guide its improvement, it must be evaluated according to the business case, that is, a measurement program has to be developed that is oriented towards the business goals of such a reuse and experience repository system. In this paper, we suggest an approach to iteratively build up measurement programs for gaining feedback and, thereby, controlling and improving such a reuse and experience repository system. The focus is placed on guidelines for the evolution of such measurement programs over time, rather than providing directly applicable metrics or questionnaires. In order to illustrate the feasibility of the approach, examples of running measurement programs at different stages of evolutions are given.
Comprehensive reuse and systematic evolution of reuse artifacts as proposed by the Quality Improvement Paradigm (QIP) do not only require tool support for mere storage and retrieval. Rather, an integrated management of (potentially reusable) experience data as well as project-related data is needed. This paper presents an approach exploiting object-relational database technology to implement QIP-driven reuse repositories. Requirements, concepts, and implementational aspects are discussed and illustrated through a running example, namely the reuse and continuous improvement of SDL patterns for developing distributed systems. Our system is designed to support all phases of a reuse process and the accompanying improvement cycle by providing adequate functionality. Its implementation is based on object-relational database technology along with an infrastructure well suited for these purposes.
The development of complex software systems is driven by many diverse and sometimes contradictory requirements such as correctness and maintainability of resulting products, development costs, and time-to-market. To alleviate these difficulties, we propose a development method for distributed systems that integrates different basic approaches. First, it combines the use of the formal description technique SDL with software reuse concepts. This results in the definition of a use-case driven, incremental development method with SDL-patterns as the main reusable artifacts. Experience with this approach has shown that there are several other factors of influence, such as the quality of reuse artifacts or the experience of the development team. Therefore, we further combined our SDL-pattern approach with an improvement methodology known from the area of experimental software engineering. In order to demonstrate the validity of this integrating approach, we sketch some representative outcomings of a case study.