HP Labs Technical Reports

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Building Object-Oriented Instrument Kits

Griss, Martin L.; Kessler, Robert R.


Keyword(s): component, domain-specific kits, framework, object-oriented, OO methods, software reuse, WAVE

Abstract: Quick development of related instrument applications requires a new approach--combine techniques of systematic software reuse and component-based software with object technology and RAD. Reusable domain-specific frameworks, components, glue languages, and tools must be designed to work together to simplify application construction. Previous papers define such compatible workproducts as domain-specific kits and describe a framework for their analysis and comparison. Using this kit model, we analyze the Hewlett-Packard Visual Engineering Environment (VEE) as a domain-specific kit. Contrasting these analysis results with those for Microsoft's Visual Basic(R) (VB), we can identify the key features required for an experimental next-generation version of such an instrument kit. We gain maximum benefit by integrating systematic OO methods to develop reusable architecture, framework, and components with a flexible, domain-specific visual application assembly environment. Using Objectory(TM) as the design tool and VB as the implementation vehicle, we have prototyped an open, component-oriented VEE-like environment, the WAVE Engineering System. WAVE is a flexible kit that supports high levels of software reuse. We illustrate how object technology, reuse, and RAD, methods are combined by applying WAVE to a simple LEGO(TM) instrumentation kit implemented in VB. We describe some results of our experiments and what we have learned about kit construction using OO methods and VB implementation. This description will enable the reader to use the concept of kits to structure and package reuse deliverables, and also indicate how technologies such as VB can be used as a powerful starting point.

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