The OMG Architecture-Driven Modernization Task Force (ADMTF) is setting out to develop a Metamodel to describe 3d-dimensional constructs that will help us to visualize software systems.
The ultimate objective of VMM will be to automatically produce illustrative 3D scenes from various UML models, it will define the “spatial geometric constructs and navigational behaviors” to which models can be mapped and the rules for that mapping. The symbology and animation will illustrate structure, dynamics, and metrics, and will also serve as a navigational springboard for linking to other documents or for launching apps. The present scope will be limited to illustration of “existing” systems (including abstract notions thereof). Follow-on work might add “to-be” constructs.
A VMM implementation will take models and mapping rules as input and render an immersive scene as output OR perhaps create a X3D presentation. The presenter could step though vantage points and drill for detail as needed.
The choice of ADM as hosting task force provides - inside KDM and SMM specs - a fitting set of basic constructs to be mapped to a scene. After the ADM-centric VMM succeeds we can generalize generalize the capability to other frameworks such as UPDM, SoaML, TOG ADM, etc. For example TOGAF's notions of building blocks and SOAs interfaces, but we'll start by using VMM scene constructs in support of basic KDM and SMM constructs.
The near-term objective is to issue a request for information (RFI) soliciting ideas to refine scope and content of this VMM as well as a concept for how system models can be mapped to it. The RFI responses would then inform the creation of an RFP for a VMM specification.
All interested in participating - please join email@example.com - and then provide some input and comments for the draft RFI posted at: http://www.omg.org/cgi-bin/doc?admtf/2010-02-01.
In our RFI we want to elicit responses from audiences versed in KDM and/or SMM, UML and XMI, 3D immersive graphics (e.g. X3D, VRML), UML tool vendors, and other related disciplines. Below you will find links to some introductory documents on the topic. firstname.lastname@example.org will be the main communication vehicle for the project. I look forward to hearing from you!
http://www.omg.org/cgi-bin/doc?admtf/2008-06-08 A Visualization White Paper by William Ulrich, laying out VMM motivations and potential leverage points.
http://www.omg.org/cgi-bin/doc?admtf/2009-12-01 Presentation of prototype by Jon Farmer, showing how an immersive animated scene was useful in practice
Grady Booch will contribute (when ready) a survey on visualizations of software-intensive systems.