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Modelling Dynamic Configurations to Guide Tool Design

Bradley Schmerl and Chris Marlin.

Technical report, 97-01, Flinders University Department of Computer Science, 1996.

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The ability to update a software system as it is being used is increasingly important and manifests itself in systems that must be maintained while executing, in systems where choices about which components comprise a system are deferred until their use, and where systems can be customised. Systems that fit one or more of these characteristics we call Dynamically Composed Systems (DCSs). Although some attention has been given to providing tools to support dynamic updates, and models of such dynamic updates have been constructed, little work as been done in examining this from a configuration management perspective. This paper describes a model of configuration management for dynamically composed systems, based on an existing model of configuration management for statically composed systems. The model includes a dynamic configuration description language, DCDL, and a formalization in terms of many-sorted algebraic specification techniques. The use of this model to design tools to support configuration management for dynamically composed systems is then discussed.
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