Tutorial:    Using the MDA® for Designing 

    and Implementing Web-based Applications

Munich, Germany, 27 July 2004

In conjunction with 
The Fourth International Conference on Web Engineering (
ICWE 2004)

 (Download the slides)






Antonio Vallecillo
Universidad de Málaga. ETSI Informática (Spain)

Nathalie Moreno
Universidad de Málaga. ETSI Informática (Spain)







The Model Driven Architecture (MDA®), defined by OMG, is an approach to using models in software development, with the goals of portability, interoperability and reusability through architectural separation of concerns. MDA aims to separate business or application logic from the underlying platform technologies, allowing applications to be specified and implemented in a platform-independent fashion. 

MDA seems to be particularly well suited for developing distributed systems that are made up of components running on different platforms and tiers. MDA can generate the software for the tiers, plus the code to glue it all together. Besides, systems built in this way may have a much longer lifespan than any given technology platform.

In this tutorial we show how MDA can be used for the design and implementation of Web-based applications. In particular, we introduce the main MDA concepts and features, and show how it may help organize the design of an application right from its CIM (Computation Independent Model) at the higher level of abstraction, to its implementation using different technologies (such as WebServices, .NET, J2EE, CORBA, etc.). We also discuss how a tower of several different models can be identified (each one corresponding to a different level of abstraction), and the kinds of mappings that can be defined between them.  Finally, we examine the resources currently available to integrate existing Web technologies into the MDA approach. 



Target Audience




The tutorial is targeted to rechearchers who want to have a detailed overview of MDA principles and how apply them, in particular to the domain of Web applications. We assume that participants have a basic knowledge of UML and distributed object technologies.



Tutorial Outline




Total duration: 3 hours

  • Introduction --  Models and Metamodels

    • What is a model?

    • Usefulness of models

    • Current limitations of (SE) models

    • What is a metamodel?

    • The OMG's four-layers metamodel hierarchy

  • MDA primer

    • MDA principles

    • MDA concepts and models

    • Model mappings and transformations

    • Supporting technologies: UML, MOF, CWM, XMI, QVT, etc.

    • MDA expected benefits

    • MDA application domains

  • Web-based applications

    • Web engineering and applications

    • Web-based applications enterprise layers

    • Web-based applications enterprise architecture

    • Examples of current Web-based applications development proposals: Jim Conallen's, OO-H, UWE.

  • Applying MDA to Web-based applications

    • MDA process for Web-based applications development

    • Existing MDA-based proposals and tools

    • PIMs of a Web application

    • Integrating current Web-based applications development proposals with MDA: Conallen, OO-H, UWE, ATLAS, Optimal/J, ArcStyler

  • What is left, and what is next

    • Current limitations of Web-based applications development proposals

    • Current limitations of MDA

    • Establishing a research agenda

  • Conclusions



About the presenters




Nathalie Moreno is a PhD Student at the Computer Science Department of the University of Málaga. She received the MSc degree in Computer Science from the University of Málaga in 2000. Her research interests include Model Driven Development and Web Engineering.

Antonio Vallecillo holds the BSc and MSc degrees in mathematics, and the PhD degree in computer science. Most of his professional experience comes from the computer industry, where he has worked for many years for several international companies, both in Spain and in UK. Since 1996 he works at Málaga University, where he is an associate professor, and has also been the Head of the Málaga University IT Services. His research interests include model-driven software development, componentware, open distributed processing, and the industrial use of formal methods. He is the representative of the Málaga University at ISO, the OMG, and AENOR (the Spanish National Body for Standardization), and a member of several professional organizations, including the AITO, ACM, the IEEE and the IEEE Computer Society. Further information about his research projects, publications, and organized events can be found at http://www.lcc.uma.es/~av.




Last Update 9/7/2004