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Challenges in Developing a Software Architecture Evolution Tool as a Plug-In

Jeffrey M. Barnes and David Garlan.

In Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Developing Tools as Plug-Ins, Pages 13--18, San Francisco, CA, USA, 21 May 2013.

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Recent research has developed a theoretical basis for providing software architects with better support for planning and carrying out major evolutions of software systems. However, these theoretical models have yet to be implemented in a complete, integrated tool. In this paper, we consider some of the challenges involved in developing such a tool as a plug-in to an existing architecture modeling framework. We present an experience report based on the development of a prototype architecture evolution tool as a plug-in to MagicDraw, a commercial UML tool. We find that there are many practical obstacles to developing tools for architecture evolution modeling as plug-ins, and we discuss some of the key factors that plug-in developers should weigh when considering frameworks.

Keywords: Architecture Evolution.  
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