Message Structures: a modelling technique for information systems analysis and design

Arturo GonzálezMarcela Ruiz,Sergio EspañaÓscar Pastor

Despite the increasing maturity of model-driven development (MDD), some research challenges remain open in the field of information systems (IS). For instance, there is a need to improve modelling techniques so that they cover several development stages and they facilitate the transition from analysis to design. This paper presents Message Structures, a technique for the specification of communicative interactions between the IS and its environment. This technique can be used both in analysis and in design. During analysis, it allows abstracting from the technology that will support the IS, and to complement business process modelling with the specification of communicational needs. During design, Message Structures serves two purposes: (i) it allows to systematically derive a model of the IS memory (e.g. a UML class diagram), (ii) and it allows to reason the user interface design using abstract patterns. The technique is part of Communication Analysis, a communication-oriented requirements engineering method, but it can also be used in combination with other modelling techniques (e.g. Business Process Modeling Notation, Use Cases). Two supporting tools are presented: one uses the Xtext technology, and the other uses the Eclipse Modelling Framework.

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