This paper presents MView, a technique that enables the separation of various architect views on an architectural connector in distributed software systems.
A distributed system faces a lot of variability in the functions that it needs to support, and the deployment environments in which it needs to execute. Modularity of functionality and composition is essential in achieving this variability.
While state-of-the-art AO-ADLs focus on describing compositions using aspect-based connectors, there is no support for describing a connector across multiple architecture views. This is, however, essential for distributed systems, where run-time and distribution characteristics are represented in multiple views. This results in connectors that suffer from monolithic descriptions, in which the views of different architects are tangled.
MView untangles these architect views by defining them in separate modules and specifying refinement relations between these modules. We have integrated MView in an ADL, called MView ADL, which is supported by an Eclipse-plugin that performs code generation to the JBoss and Spring middleware platforms.
We evaluate MView in a content distribution system for e-Media. First is an assessment of the architect effort required for creating variations of that system, followed by an evaluation of the extent to which changes ripple through the architecture.