Eclipse Modeling Framework

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Overview

This guide to Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) explains how EMF unifies Java, XML, and UML, and provides an overview of the various EMF classes. Particular attention is given the EMF models, EMF generator, programming, EMF API, and EMF.edit API. The book also supplies examples of many common framework customization and programming techniques. The authors are computer programmers and software developers. Annotation ©2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
For many developers, modeling is like flossing. You know you probably should, but you can’t stand the hassle. But what if someone gave you the key benefits of modeling with a far lower “cost of entry”?

Someone has. And there’s more. The Eclipse Modeling Framework is free.

It’s part of the open source Eclipse project, which is building a truly awesome collection of integrated, commercial-quality developer tools. (Let’s be more precise. Eclipse is a platform for developing whatever new tool your heart desires and integrating your tool with others doing likewise. But many of the 3 million developers who’ve downloaded Eclipse did so for the tools that already exist, especially Eclipse’s state-of-the-art Java development environment.)

We digress. Let’s get back to models. When you think about them, you think UML: class diagrams, collaboration diagrams, state diagrams, and so forth. That usually means expensive OOA/D tools. Once you’ve done all that modeling, then what? While you can generate code from the model, quite a few organizations use it primarily as documentation. No wonder folks can’t be bothered.

Now, “compare and contrast” with EMF. EMF uses XML Metadata Interchange (XMI) to define models. You can create XMI with your fave-rave XML or text editor or export it from the modeler you already own. But most folks will build EMF models a third way: by annotating Java interfaces with model properties, within the Eclipse IDE. No expensive tools. No Everest-scale learning curves.

Once you’ve built your model, EMF’s generator can create corresponding Java implementation classes for you. If you edit these classes with your own methods and instance variables, you can still regenerate them from the model. If you wish -– and it’s up to you -– you can integrate modeling and programming as never before. Meanwhile, EMF’s handling all sorts of nitty tasks for you, such as model change notification.

Excited yet? Then read Eclipse Modeling Framework. Authored by a team of IBMers at the heart of the Eclipse project, it’s all you need to know to get results with EMF. A little Java experience is all you need: The authors cover every detail of defining EMF models and generating code from them. They review all three ways to define EMF models and carefully walk through the powerful Ecore metamodel.

There’s extensive coverage of using the EMF Generator and its associated patterns, with a chapter-length case study. You’ll find plenty of tips for building the best possible models, too -– and these authors have done more EMF modeling than anyone.

The book ends with a complete Quick Reference to the EMF 1.1 API and to EMF.Edit API, which provides generic, reusable classes for building editors for EMF models. By the time you get there, you’ll be raring to go. Bill Camarda

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780131425422
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
  • Publication date: 8/20/2003
  • Series: Eclipse Series
  • Pages: 680
  • Product dimensions: 7.18 (w) x 9.07 (h) x 1.44 (d)

Meet the Author

FRANK BUDINSKY, leader of the Eclipse EMF project, is co-architect and an implementer of the EMF framework and code generator. An engineer in IBM's Software Group, Frank has been involved in the design of frameworks and generators for several years, including design lead for the IBM/Taligent Compound Document Framework in VisualAge/C++, the Composed Business Object Builder in Component Broker, and most recently a common framework for mapping tools in WebSphere Studio.

DAVID STEINBERG is a core member of the EMF development team in IBM's Software Group. Dave has contributed extensively to the design and implementation of both the runtime and code generator components of EMF.

ED MERKS is project leader and lead architect of the XSD technology project and a co-architect of the EMF tools project, both at Eclipse. Ed develops software at the IBM Toronto Laboratory and has many years of in-depth experience in the design and implementation of languages and their supporting environments, including a Ph.D. on the subject.

RAYMOND ELLERSICK is an engineer in IBM's Software Group. A member of the EMF team, Ray is a key contributor to the design of EMF and was previously the development lead for IBM's earlier modeling framework from which much of EMF evolved.

TIMOTHY J. GROSE, a software engineer at the IBM Silicon Valley Laboratory, develops applications using XML and XMI technologies, including design and implementation of the default serialization support in EMF.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Foreword
Preface
References
Pt. I EMF Overview 1
Ch. 1 Eclipse 3
Ch. 2 Introducing EMF 9
Ch. 3 Model Editing with EMF.Edit 39
Ch. 4 Using EMF - A Simple Overview 65
Pt. II Defining EMF Models 93
Ch. 5 Ecore Modeling Concepts 95
Ch. 6 Java Source Code 115
Ch. 7 XML Schema 129
Ch. 8 UML 143
Pt. III Using the EMF Generator 159
Ch. 9 EMF Generator Patterns 161
Ch. 10 EMF Edit Generator Patterns 213
Ch. 11 Running the Generators 241
Ch. 12 Example - Implementing a Model and Editor 265
Pt. IV Programming with EMF 291
Ch. 13 EMF Client Programming 293
Ch. 14 EMF Edit Programming 351
Pt. V Emf Api 379
Ch. 15 The org.eclipse.emf.common Plug-In 381
Ch. 16 The org.eclipse.emf.common.ui Plug-In 431
Ch. 17 The org.eclipse.emf.ecore Plug-In 443
Ch. 18 The org.eclipse.emf.ecore.xmi Plug-In 525
Pt. VI EMF.Edit API 539
Ch. 19 The org.eclipse.emf.edit Plug-In 541
Ch. 20 The org.eclipse.emf.edit.ui Plug-In 617
App. A UML Notation 645
App. B Summary of Example Models 651
Index 663
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Preface

Preface

This book is a comprehensive introduction to and developer's quick reference for the Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF). EMF is a powerful framework and code-generation facility for building Java applications based on simple model definitions. Designed to make modeling practical and useful to the mainstream Java programmer, EMF unifies three important technologies: Java, XML, and UML. Models can be defined using a UML modeling tool, an XML Schema, or by specifying simple annotations on Java interfaces, whereby programmers write the abstract interfaces (a small subset of what they would normally need to write), and the rest is generated automatically and merged back into their existing code.

By relating modeling concepts to the simple Java representations of those concepts, EMF has successfully bridged the gap between modelers and Java programmers. It serves as a gentle introduction to modeling for Java programmers and at the same time as a reinforcement of the modeler's theory that plenty of Java coding can be automated, given an appropriate tool. This book shows how EMF is such a tool. At the same time, it also shows how using EMF gives you much more than just automatic code generation.

While Eclipse provides a powerful platform for integration at the UI and file level, EMF builds on this capability to enable applications to integrate at a much finer granularity than would otherwise be possible. EMF-based modeling is the foundation for fine-grained interoperability and data sharing among tools and applications in Eclipse. All of the features provided by the EMF framework, combined with an intrinsic property of modeling--that it provides a higher-level descriptionthat can more easily be shared--provide the needed ingredients to foster such data integration. A number of companies are already using both Eclipse and the EMF modeling technology as the foundation for commercial products. IBM's WebSphere Studio, for example, is completely based on Eclipse, and most of its tools use EMF to model their data.

This book assumes the reader is familiar with object-oriented programming concepts, and specifically with the Java programming language. Previous exposure to modeling techniques such as UML class diagrams, although helpful, is not required. Part I (Chapters 1 to 4) provides a basic overview of the most important concepts in EMF and modeling. This part teaches someone with basic Java programming skills everything needed to start using EMF to model and build an application. Part II (Chapters 5 to 8) presents a thorough overview of EMF's metamodel, Ecore, followed by details of the mappings between Ecore and the other supported model-definition forms: annotated Java, XML Schema, and UML. Part III (Chapters 9 to 12) includes detailed analyses of EMF's code-generator patterns and tools, followed by an end-to-end example of a non-trivial EMF application. Part IV (Chapters 13 and 14) provides a more in-depth analysis of the EMF and EMF.Edit frameworks, including discussions of design alternatives and examples of common framework customizations and programming techniques. Part V (Chapters 15 to 18) and Part VI (Chapters 19 and 20) finish off the book with a complete API quick reference for all of the classes and methods in the 1.1 versions of the core EMF and EMF.Edit frameworks.

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Introduction

Preface

This book is a comprehensive introduction to and developer's quick reference for the Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF). EMF is a powerful framework and code-generation facility for building Java applications based on simple model definitions. Designed to make modeling practical and useful to the mainstream Java programmer, EMF unifies three important technologies: Java, XML, and UML. Models can be defined using a UML modeling tool, an XML Schema, or by specifying simple annotations on Java interfaces, whereby programmers write the abstract interfaces (a small subset of what they would normally need to write), and the rest is generated automatically and merged back into their existing code.

By relating modeling concepts to the simple Java representations of those concepts, EMF has successfully bridged the gap between modelers and Java programmers. It serves as a gentle introduction to modeling for Java programmers and at the same time as a reinforcement of the modeler's theory that plenty of Java coding can be automated, given an appropriate tool. This book shows how EMF is such a tool. At the same time, it also shows how using EMF gives you much more than just automatic code generation.

While Eclipse provides a powerful platform for integration at the UI and file level, EMF builds on this capability to enable applications to integrate at a much finer granularity than would otherwise be possible. EMF-based modeling is the foundation for fine-grained interoperability and data sharing among tools and applications in Eclipse. All of the features provided by the EMF framework, combined with an intrinsic property of modeling--that it provides a higher-leveldescription that can more easily be shared--provide the needed ingredients to foster such data integration. A number of companies are already using both Eclipse and the EMF modeling technology as the foundation for commercial products. IBM's WebSphere Studio, for example, is completely based on Eclipse, and most of its tools use EMF to model their data.

This book assumes the reader is familiar with object-oriented programming concepts, and specifically with the Java programming language. Previous exposure to modeling techniques such as UML class diagrams, although helpful, is not required. Part I (Chapters 1 to 4) provides a basic overview of the most important concepts in EMF and modeling. This part teaches someone with basic Java programming skills everything needed to start using EMF to model and build an application. Part II (Chapters 5 to 8) presents a thorough overview of EMF's metamodel, Ecore, followed by details of the mappings between Ecore and the other supported model-definition forms: annotated Java, XML Schema, and UML. Part III (Chapters 9 to 12) includes detailed analyses of EMF's code-generator patterns and tools, followed by an end-to-end example of a non-trivial EMF application. Part IV (Chapters 13 and 14) provides a more in-depth analysis of the EMF and EMF.Edit frameworks, including discussions of design alternatives and examples of common framework customizations and programming techniques. Part V (Chapters 15 to 18) and Part VI (Chapters 19 and 20) finish off the book with a complete API quick reference for all of the classes and methods in the 1.1 versions of the core EMF and EMF.Edit frameworks.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2004

    Not the introduction I expected

    This book served as my introduction to Eclipse, and I found it not as helpful as just playing with Eclipse itself. After play time was over, I went to the book again, and saw some improvements that I could have used.<p> I don¿t mean to say that the book is bad. It¿s a little overweight with Java references, true, but it still covers one of the best Java IDEs available, and the fact that it¿s better than many commercial IDEs just makes it more pleasing.<p> I believe I got this book when I wasn¿t ready for it, or when I wasn¿t the main target audience, and that this may skew my perception of it. In any sense, the book just wasn¿t my piece of pie, but I can see it being someone elses.<p>

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2003

    Significant Productivity Gains

    If you have used Eclipse to program Java, you might have gotten comfortable with its capabilities. Very intuitive and kindly donated by IBM to open source. So when I opened this book, I anticipated oodles of helpful tweaks and shortcuts. But not so. IBM has indeed provided these in the book. But their goals were far more ambitious. The Eclipse Modelling Framework is a serious effort to incorporate into a development environment java, XML and UML. They found, perhaps correctly, that most Java programmers, including, and maybe especially the experienced ones, don't really use UML much. Okay, as an afterthought, to document a code base upon a major release. But rarely as a starting point. So one intent is to seamlessly let java programmers incorporate UML. More strongly, they claim that EMF lets you define a model in any of java, XML or UML. Then simply clicking a button will make EMF generate the other 2 forms. The greatest payoff for this is that it lets programmers, who may not be fluent in UML, make a graphical UML model and thence have EMF make the java code stubs. Much less error prone than doing it manually. There is an analogy here with Spice, if any of you have an electrical engineering background. Until the late 80s, if you wanted to model a circuit in Spice, you typically drew it by hand on paper. Then you manually transcribed these into a text file of netlists that was input into Spice. Slow and very error prone. Then along came MicroSim, Carver Mead's Magic program and others, that let you construct a circuit diagram on a console, and from which you could press a button and a Spice input file would be made. Much more productive. The book offers a similar gain in productivity. All you are asked to risk is your time in understanding the book.

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