Software Engineering-The Intergration Architecture

A software engineering team uses CASE tools, corresponding methods, and a process framework to create a pool of software engineering information. The integration framework facilitates transfer of information into and out of the pool. To accomplish this, the following architectural components must exist: a database must be created (to store the information); an object management system must be built (to manage changes to the information); a tools control mechanism must be constructed (to coordinate the use of CASE tools); a user interface must provide a consistent pathway between actions made by the user and the tools contained in the environment. Most models of the integration framework represent these components as layers. A simple model of the framework, depicting only the components just noted is shown in figure.

The user interface layer  incorporates a standardized interface tool kit with a common presentation protocol. The interface tool kit contains software for human/computer interface management and a library of display objects. Both provide a consistent mechanism for communication between the interface and individual CASE tools. The presentation protocol is the set of guidelines that gives all CASE tools the same look and feel. Screen layout conventions, menu names and organization, icons, object names, the use of the keyboard and mouse, and the mechanism for tools access are all defined as part of the presentation protocol.

The tools layer incorporates a set of tools management services with the CASE tools themselves. Tools management services (TMS) control the behavior of tools within the environment. If multitasking is used during the execution of one or more tools, TMS performs multitask synchronization and communication, coordinates the flow of information from the repository and object management system into the tools, accomplishes security and auditing functions, and collects metrics on tool usage.

The object management layer (OML) performs the configuration management functions . In essence, software in this layer of the framework architecture provides the mechanism for tools integration. Every CASE tool is "plugged into" the object management layer. Working in conjunction with the CASE repository, the OML provides integration services—a set of standard modules that couple tools with the repository. In addition, the OML provides configuration management services by enabling the identification of all configuration objects, performing version control, and providing support for change control, audits, and status accounting.

The shared repository layer is the CASE database and the access control functions that enable the object management layer to interact with the database. Data integration is achieved by the object management and shared repository layers.
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