Making the Case:

OMG's Model Driven Architecture

October 15, 2002 —  (Page 2 of 6)
The MDA addresses this problem directly, codifying and standardizing the steps that take a model through development into implementation. Automating the route set down by the OMG standard, MDA-based tools produce applications that faithfully meet the business and nonbusiness (scalability, security and so on) requirements built into models by domain experts and IT architects. Models become the prime development artifact in this environment, not only defining and recording business requirements, but also serving as the basis for development, maintenance and evolution.

This architecture brings many benefits. Some are business-oriented (requirements built into the model always appear in the final implementation); others technical (MDA-based applications are interoperable, portable and middleware-platform-independent). If you're building a Web services application, you're surely coupling a number of legacy functions on legacy middleware to a new front end. The OMG believes that MDA is the best possible way to design and build this kind of application.

Encompassing both the modeling and development spaces, the MDA is a comprehensive IT architecture that unifies business modeling and implementation into a synergistic environment that maximizes IT ROI and gives businesses that employ it a competitive advantage. Encompassing every aspect of IT, from technology-independent modeling of business functionality and behavior, through development and integration on virtually every platform used in the industry today, to deployment and maintenance, and extending to evolution to tomorrow's new platforms when shifts in technology require, the MDA is standardized and supported by dozens of prominent vendors (including IBM, HP, Rational, Iona, Borland and many others) in both declarations and products on the market today.

In this article, we'll describe the basic structure of the MDA and explain how it delivers the benefits we've already listed, plus these:

• MDA-enabled tools follow OMG-standardized pathways to automate the transformation from your designers' business model into your implementation, producing new applications faster, better and cheaper.

• The MDA process ensures not only that the business requirements built into the design end up in the final implementation, but also that nonbusiness functional requirements (such as scalability, security and transactionality) carry through as well.

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