Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Reuse or Rewrite AndroMDA Cartridges?

Someone asked me what is the best way to work with AndroMDA in case that the architecture (structure, naming, process, etc.) is different than the AndroMDA's one. Reuse all the cartridges as far as possible and extend them or rewrite them from scratch?

My opinions are as follow:
  • Think of a framework everytime you use AndroMDA. This includes the cartridges AndroMDA offers. When you are using frameworks you mostly don't want to rewrite them. You want to reuse and extend them. So, reuse and extend already available AndroMDA cartridges is the way to go.
  • If your team is only a small team never think of building your own architecture, thus you don't need to rewrite the cartridges. By building your own architecture (e.g. using your own directory structure, using your own naming convention, etc.) you mostly need to write your own cartridges which is costly. Remember that the developers of AndroMDA and AndroMDA cartridges are not beginners. They had many thoughts poured into the cartridges and most of them are experienced architects and developers. So you can be sure that the architecture of applications generated by AndroMDA cartridges are a stable architecture and has a good thought.
  • Never forget that AndroMDA is an Open Source project. If you think you have better ideas just join them and give them some inputs to make the available cartridges much more better!
So, when should we write our own cartridges?
  • In case that you are doing a re-engeneering project which means that you have all those source codes and you want to integrate AndroMDA cartridges slowly into the whole application development process you need to write your own cartridges. In this situation you can slowly "generate" some of the repeating codes by using your own cartridges. Already available AndroMDA cartridges will mostly miss this purpose. But again, if you write a new application reuse and extend available AndroMDA cartridges as far as you can.
  • Only build your own architecture and thus create your own cartridges if you and your team have the capacity and resources to do this.
Happy modeling,