Section: Software

EMF Facet

URL: http://www.eclipse.org/modeling/emft/facet/

EMF Facet is an open source Eclipse project, under the Eclipse Public License (EPL), that provides a generic and extensible framework dedicated to the dynamic and non-intrusive extension of models. It can be used to extend already existing metamodels with additional concepts and properties, the corresponding models being then transparently augmented, reduced or modified accordingly at runtime. Such a metamodel extension is called a facet, and can be specified on top of any metamodel in EMF Ecore. The underlying mechanism is based on the runtime execution of queries on the models corresponding to the faceted metamodels. Facets are notably particularly relevant for obtaining different views on existing models without having to actually alter them with any extra data.

The EMF Facet framework is composed of several Eclipse plugins, and relies on the de-facto standard Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) for model handling. The facet definitions are stored as facet models, allowing them to be exchanged and reused in various contexts. The queries can be implemented using any suitable query language (e.g.; ATL, OCL, Java, XPath), as far as the corresponding adapters exist and are correctly registered within the framework. The proposed tooling includes dedicated editors for creating, editing and saving both facet and query definitions, the implemented support for Java, OCL and ATL queries, a Table Editor for visualizing query results. An advanced support for the model display customization (e.g.; icons, colors, fonts) is also provided as part of the framework.

EMF Facet is currently intensively used in MoDisco for extracting and displaying different specific views from large models of legacy systems. Its extension and customization capabilities are actually integrated into several MoDisco components, such as notably the MoDisco Model Browser. However, different other integration possibilities will be also explored in the future.

The initiative continues to be developed within the context of the European FP7-ICT project ARTIST.