Making the Case:

OMG's Model Driven Architecture

October 15, 2002 —  (Page 6 of 6)
Pervasive Services.

Every distributed application needs essential services: Naming/directory, transactions, distributed event handling and security are used in virtually every application, but other services come in handy as well. OMG's Object Management Architecture contains the industry's most mature set of standardized services. Originally constructed for CORBA, these now define security, transactionality and persistence for J2EE thereby proving their multiplatform applicability. OMG will retro-fit these services to the MDA by extracting UML models and generating uniform service definitions for virtually every platform: Web services, .NET, messaging environments and more.

Domain-Specific Specifications.

Until now, industries have typically defined computing standards in a particular technology. This is necessary to guarantee interoperability, but requires every company to use the same middleware. Worse yet, when technology advances and the chosen middleware platform is superseded, the standard and all of its users are forced to port to something new.

By defining standards in the MDA, industries avoid both of these severe disadvantages: Defined fundamentally as a PIM, their standard can be implemented equivalently and interoperably on multiple middleware platforms. Over time, if one or some of these platforms become obsolete, the industry can define new implementations on new platforms from the original PIM. Many industries are working on MDA standards at OMG now, including telecommunications, biotechnology, manufacturing, health care, finance and more.

We've listed many of the benefits of the MDA and described, in a very general way, how the architecture supports them. OMG members adopted the MDA as the group's base architecture in September 2001. Many developments at OMG support the MDA, including adoption of profiles for additional platforms. Upgrade of the UML specification to revision 2.0 is being tailored to MDA needs, and OMG's domain Task Forces were quick to expand from their CORBA-only architecture to work in multiple platforms with the first non-CORBA domain specification, the Gene Expression Model from the Life Science Research Domain Task Force, being adopted in May 2002.

OMG members invite you to learn more about the MDA and the specifications that comprise it at the OMG Web site. The best place to

Jon Siegel is vice president of technology transfer at Object Management Group Inc.

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