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Software Factories: Assembling Applications with Patterns, Models, Frameworks, and Tools


by Jack Greenfield, Keith Short, Steve Cook, Stuart Kent, John Crupi

Editorial Reviews
From the Back Cover
"Software Factories does a wonderful job integrating modeling with patterns, frameworks, and agile development. The authors provide a compelling look at how a new generation of tools will make this a reality. A must read for software architects and developers."
—John Crupi, Sun Distinguished Engineer, and coauthor, Core J2EE Patterns

Many of the challenges currently facing software developers are symptoms of problems with software development practices. Software Factories solves these problems by integrating critical innovations that have been proven over the last ten years but have not yet been brought together.

A team of industry experts led by Jack Greenfield explains that a Software Factory is a configuration of languages, patterns, frameworks, and tools that can be used to rapidly and cost-effectively produce an open-ended set of unique variants of a standard product.

Their ground-breaking methodology promises to industrialize software development, first by automating software development within individual organizations, and then by connecting these processes across organizational boundaries to form supply chains that distribute cost and risk. Featuring an example introduced in the first chapter and revisited throughout the book, the authors explain such topics as:

  • Chronic problems that object orientation has not been able to overcome, and critical innovations that solve them
  • How models can become first class software development artifacts, not just documentation
  • How software product lines can be used to consistently achieve commercially significant levels of reuse
  • How patterns, frameworks, tools, and other reusable assets can be used to scale up agile development methods
  • How orchestration and other adaptive mechanisms can be used to enable development by assembly

Product Description:
The architects of the Software Factories method provide a detailed look at this faster, less expensive, and more reliable approach to application development. Software Factories significantly increase the level of automation in application development at medium to large companies, applying the time tested pattern of using visual languages to enable rapid assembly and configuration of framework based components.Unlike other approaches to Model Driven Development (MDD), such as Model Driven Architecture (MDA) from the Object Management Group (OMG), Software Factories do not use the Unified Modeling Language (UML), a general purpose modeling language designed for models used as documentation. They go beyond models as documentation, using models based on highly tuned Domain Specific Languages (DSLs) and the Extensible Markup Language (XML) as source artifacts, to capture life cycle metadata, and to support high fidelity model transformation, code generation and other forms of automation.

Building business applications is currently an extremely labor-intensive process that relies on a limited pool of highly talented developers. As global demand for software exceeds the capacity of this labor pool, current software development methods will be replaced by automated methods, meaning cheaper, faster, and more reliable application development. Wiley Computer Publishing has teamed with industry experts Jack Greenfield and Keith Short, both architects in the Enterprise Frameworks and Tools group at Microsoft, and leading authorities on Model Driven Development (MDD), to help technical professionals understand how business application development is changing. With two chapters on Domain Specific Language (DSL) development by contributors Steve Cook and Stuart Kent, they take an in-depth look at challenges facing developers using current methods and practices, and critical innovations that can help with these challenges, such as Pattern Automation, Generative Programming, Software Product Lines, Aspect Oriented Programming (AOP), Component Based Development (CBD), Service Oriented Architectures (SOA), Service Orchestration and Web Service Integration. They then propose the Software Factories method, which has the potential to significantly change software development practice, by reducing the cost of building reusable assets, such as patterns, languages, frameworks and tools, for specific problem domains, and then applying them to accelerate the assembly of applications in those domains.

After introducing Software Factories, the book describes these key enabling technologies in depth, and shows how they can be integrated and applied to support a form of Rapid Application Development (RAD). It then provides a detailed example of a working Software Factory and answers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Readers will gain a better understanding of these technologies, and will learn how to apply them to implement Software Factories within their own organizations.

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