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Domain-Specific Development with Visual Studio DSL Tools

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Domain-Specific Development with Visual Studio DSL Tools

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Description

  • Copyright 2007
  • Edition: 1st
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-280060-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-280060-0

Domain-Specific Languages (DSLs)--languages geared to specific vertical or horizontal areas of interest--are generating growing excitement from software engineers and architects. DSLs bring new agility to the creation and evolution of software, allowing selected design aspects to be expressed in terms much closer to the system requirements than standard program code, significantly reducing development costs in large-scale projects and product lines. In this breakthrough book, four leading experts reveal exactly how DSLs work, and how you can make the most of them in your environment.

With Domain-Specific Development with Visual Studio DSL Tools, you'll begin by mastering DSL concepts and techniques that apply to all platforms. Next, you'll discover how to create and use DSLs with the powerful new Microsoft DSL Tools--a toolset designed by this book's authors. Learn how the DSL Tools integrate into Visual Studio--and how to define DSLs and generate Visual Designers using Visual Studio's built-in modeling technology.

In-depth coverage includes

  • Determining whether DSLs will work for you
  • Comparing DSLs with other approaches to model-driven development
  • Defining, tuning, and evolving DSLs: models, presentation, creation, updates, serialization, constraints, validation, and more
  • Creating Visual Designers for new DSLs with little or no coding
  • Multiplying productivity by generating application code from your models with easy-to-use text templates
  • Automatically generating configuration files, resources, and other artifacts
  • Deploying Visual Designers across the organization, quickly and easily
  • Customizing Visual Designers for specialized process needs

List of Figures
List of Tables

Foreword

Preface

About the Authors
Chapter 1 Domain-Specific Development
Chapter 2 Creating and Using DSLs
Chapter 3 Domain Model Definition
Chapter 4 Presentation
Chapter 5 Creation, Deletion, and Update Behavior
Chapter 6 Serialization
Chapter 7 Constraints and Validation
Chapter 8 Generating Artifacts
Chapter 9 Deploying a DSL
Chapter 10 Advanced DSL Customization
Chapter 11 Designing a DSL
Index 

Sample Content

Table of Contents

List of Figures xvii

List of Tables xxv

Foreword xxvii

Preface xxix

About the Authors xxxv

Chapter 1 Domain-Specific Development 1

Introduction 1

Domain-Specific Development 2

Examples 4

Benefits 10

Languages 11

Textual DSLs 15

Graphical DSLs 20

Aspects of Graphical DSLs 23

DSLs in Visual Studio 27

The Customization Pit 32

UML 34

Summary 40

Chapter 2 Creating and Using DSLs 41

Introduction 41

Process: Incremental Development of DSLs 41

Creating a DSL in Visual Studio 57

A Second DSL: The Project Definition DSL 77

Architecture of the DSL Tools 78

Summary 85

Chapter 3 Domain Model Definition 87

Introduction 87

The Domain Model Designer 88

The In-Memory Store 89

Domain Classes 92

Domain Relationships 98

Generating a Designer with No Shapes 108

The Generated Code 109

More about Domain Classes 115

More about Domain Properties 119

More on Domain Relationships and Roles 122

More about the Store 129

Summary 131

Chapter 4 Presentation 133

Introduction 133

Graphical Notation--Overview 134

Diagram and Editor 137

Shapes 146

Connectors 164

Decorators 167

Customizing the Graphical Notation in Code 173

Explorer 180

Properties Window 188

Summary 195

Chapter 5 Creation, Deletion, and Update Behavior 197

Introduction 197

Element Creation 197

Connection Builders 216

Element Deletion 229

Summary 234

Chapter 6 Serialization 237

Introduction 237

Saving and Loading Models and Diagrams 238

Model XML File Format 239

Elements and Properties 242

Relationships 243

Cross-Referencing 245

Diagram XML File Format 251

Versioning and Migration 254

The XML Schema 257

Customization 258

Generated Serialization Code 264

Summary 273

Chapter 7 Constraints and Validation 275

Introduction 275

Choosing Hard or Soft Constraints? 277

Soft Constraints in the DSL Tools 280

Hard Constraints in the DSL Tools 295

Rules 296

Putting Together Hard and Soft Constraints 299

Summary 307

Chapter 8 Generating Artifacts 309

Introduction 309

Artifact Generation Styles 311

Complex Relationships and Round-Tripping 321

The Templatization Process 325

Syntax of a Text Template 341

Problems of Large-Scale, Real-World Artifact Generation 349

Advanced Customizations 351

Summary 366

Chapter 9 Deploying a DSL 369

Introduction 369

Files Needed to Install a Designer 370

Getting Started--Creating a Setup Project 373

Setup Project Contents 376

Customizing Setup 377

The .dslsetup Format 378

Refreshing the Installation Files 387

Package Load Key 388

Deploying Text Templates for Code Generation 390

Summary 396

Chapter 10 Advanced DSL Customization 397

Introduction 397

Tools for Customization 397

Responding to Changes 402

DSL Shell Architecture 426

How to Add a Menu Command 429

Building the DSL Diagram into Another Interface 435

Implementing Copy and Paste 437

Shape Containers 442

Summary 453

Chapter 11 Designing a DSL 455

Introduction 455

Identifying Variability 456

Developing the Domain Model 460

Developing the Notation 468

Defining Validation Constraints 475

Developing and Evolving the Framework 479

Testing 484

Evolving a DSL 489

What Makes a Good DSL? 491

Summary 498

Conclusion 499

Index 503

Updates

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