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Model-Driven Software Modernization (MDSM)

Model-driven software development (MDSD) is characterized by the use of formal models on different levels of abstraction to automate the software-development process. The research group Database and Information Systems studies the application of this technique in the field of software modernization.

Members: Marvin Grieger

Contact: Marvin Grieger

Cooperation: TEAM GmbH

Funding: Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie (BMWi)



Software systems are ageing. This ageing process is characterized by the increasing gap between the requirements for a software system and its ability to fulfil these requirements. To counteract the ageing process, software systems are maintained constantly. This, however, often results in a decreased software quality and increased complexity to maintain the systems. Additionally, the facilities for alteration by the maintenance activity are limited and restrictions by the underlying technology may circumvent the fulfilment of all requirements. A solution to this problem is the migration of the legacy system into a new environment.

The motivation to perform a migration instead of a redevelopment is based on the desire to protect the investment in the legacy system by preserving its knowledge. A manual migration is associated with high risks due to the size and complexity of the software systems. To reduce costs and minimize errors, techniques and tools which support the migration need to be developed.

Migration is the activity to transfer a software system into a new environment while preserving its functionality. Due to new software development concepts, that have been developed over time, the environmental changes can be quite comprehensive. An example is the change from a procedural to an object-oriented programming language or the transition towards a Service-oriented architecture (SOA). Modernization, in comparison to migration, aims not only to preserve the functionality but also to adapt the software system to the concepts of the target environment, ensuring its long-term sustainability.

The research group Database and Information Systems studies the application of model-driven software development techniques in the field of software modernization. A central aspect is the use of formal models which are associated to different levels of abstraction and which are converted into each other by the use of model transformations. Therefore, a high degree of automation can be achieved, while the ability to use abstractions results in an improved quality of the transformed software system.


The University for the Information Society