Java 2 Ada

Ada Web Application: Building the UML model

By stephane.carrez

In the Ada Web Application: Setting up the project we have seen how to create a new AWA project. In this second article, we will see how to design the UML model, generate the Ada code and create the database tables from our UML design.

Introduction

A Model driven engineering or MDE promotes the use of models to ease the development of software and systems. The Unified Modeling Language is used to modelize various parts of the software. UML is a graphical type modelling language and it has many diagrams but we are only going to use one of them: the Class Diagram.

The class diagram is probably the most powerful diagram to design, explain and share the data model of any application. It defines the most important data types used by an application with the relation they have with each other. In the class diagram, a class represents an abstraction that encapsulates data member attributes and operations. The class may have relations with others classes.

For the UML model, we are going to use ArgoUML that is a free modelization tool that works pretty well. For the ArgoUML setup, we will use two profiles:

  • The Dynamo profile that describes the base data types for our UML model. These types are necessary for the code generator to work correctly.
  • The AWA profile that describes the tables and modules provided by AWA. We will need it to get the user UML class definition.

These UML profiles are located in the /usr/share/dynamo/base/uml directory after Dynamo and AWA are installed. To configure ArgoUML, go in the Edit -> Settings menu and add the directory in the Default XMI directories list. Beware that you must restart ArgoUML to be able to use the new profiles.

demo-awa-argouml-setup.png

Modelize the domain model in UML

The UML model must use a number of Dynamo artifacts for the code generation to work properly. The artifact describes some capabilities and behavior for the code generator to perform its work. Stereotype names are enclosed within << and >> markers. Dynamo uses the following stereotypes:

  • The DataModel stereotype must be applied on the package which contains the model to generate. This stereotype activates the code generation (other packages are not generated).
  • The Table stereotype must be applied to the class. It controls which database table and Ada type will be generated.
  • The PK stereotype must be defined in at most one attribute of the class. This indicates the primary key for the database table. The attribute type must be an integer or a string. This is a limitation of the Ada code generator.
  • The Version stereotype must be applied on the attribute that is used for the optimistic locking implementation of the database layer.

demo-awa-uml-review-table.png

In our UML model, the Review table is assigned the Table stereotype so that an SQL table will be created as well as an Ada tagged type to represent our table. The id class attribute represents the primary key and thus has the PK stereotype. The version class attribute is the database column used by the optimistic locking implementation provided by ADO. This is why is has the Version stereotype. The title, site, create_date, text and allow_comments attributes represent the information we want to store in the database table. They are general purpose attributes and thus don't need any specific stereotype. For each attribute, the Dynamo code generator will generate a getter and a setter operation that can be used in the Ada code.

To tune the generation, several UML tagged values can be selected and added on the table or on a table attribute. By applying a stereotype to the class, several tagged values can be added. By selecting the Tagged Values tab in ArgoUML we can edit and setup new values. For the Review table, the dynamo.table.name tagged value defines the name of the SQL database table, in our case atlas_review.

demo-awa-argouml-review-tagged.png

The text attribute in the Review table is a string that can hold some pretty long text. To control the length of the SQL column, we can set the dynamo.sql.length tagged value and tell what is that length.

demo-awa-argouml-text-tagged.png

Once the UML model is designed, it is saved in the project directory uml. Dynamo will be able to read the ArgoUML file format (.zargo extension) so there is no need to export the UML in XMI.

The Review application UML model

The final UML model of our review application is fairly simple. We just added a table and a bean declaration. To benefit from the user management in AWA, we can use the AWA::Users::Models::User class that is defined in the AWA UML model. The reviewed-by association will create an attribute reviewer in our class. The code generator will generate a Get_Reviewer and Set_Reviewer operation in the Ada code. The SQL table will contain an additional column reviewer that will hold the primary key of the reviewer.

demo-awa-uml-review-model.png

The Review_Bean class is an Ada Bean abstract class that will be generated by the code generator. The Bean stereotype activates the bean code generator and the generator will generate some code support that is necessary to turn the Review_Bean tagged record into an Ada Bean aware type. We will see in the next tutorial that we will only have to implement the save and delete operation that are described in this UML model.

Makefile setup

The Makefile.in that was generated by the Dynamo create-project command must be updated to setup a number of generation arguments for the UML to Ada code generator. Edit the Makefile.in to change:

DYNAMO_ARGS=--package Atlas.Reviews.Models db uml/atlas.zargo

The --package option tells Dynamo to generate only the model for the specified package. The db directory is the directory that will contain the SQL model files.

Once the Makefile.in is updated, the Makefile must be updated by using the following command:

./config.status

Or if you prefer, you may run again the configure script to re-configure the whole project.

We need the code

To run the generator, we can use the generate make target:

make generate

The Dynamo code generator reads the file uml/atlas.zargo and the UML model it contains and generates:

  • the Ada package Atlas.Reviews.Models which contains the definition of the Review table. The model files are created in the directory src/models which is separate from your Ada sources.
  • the SQL files to create the MySQL or SQLite database. Depending on the AWA modules which are used, the generated SQL files will contain additional tables that are used by the AWA modules. The SQL files are generated in the db/mysql and db/sqlite directories.

Let's create the database

Until now we designed our application UML model, we have our Ada code generated, but we need a database with the tables for our application. We can do this by using the create-database command in Dynamo. This command needs several arguments:

  1. The directory that contains the SQL model files. In our case, this is db.
  2. The information to connect to the database, the database name, the user and its password. This information is passed in the form of a database connection string.
  3. The name of the database administration account to connect to the server and create the new database.
  4. The optional password for the database administration account.

If the MySQL server is running on your host and the admin account does not have any password, you can use the following command:

dynamo create-database  db 'mysql://localhost/demo_atlas?user=demo&password=demo' root

The create-database creates the database (demo_atlas) with the tables that are necessary for the application. It also creates the demo user and give it the necessary MySQL grants to connect to the demo_atlas database.

The Review Web Application UML video

To help you in building the UML model and see who the whole process looks like in reality, I've created the following short video that details the above tutorial steps.

Conclusion

Thanks to ArgoUML and Dynamo, generating the Ada model and database tables becomes a simple and fun task. We have not written any line of code yet in this Review Web Application project, everything has been generated but we achieved a big progress:

  • The Review Web Application server is built and can be launched,
  • The database is initialized and contains our application data model schema.

The next tutorial will explain how to design the review form, implement the operations to create and populate the database with the new review.

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Dynamo 0.7.0 is available

By stephane.carrez

Dynamo is a code generator used to generate Ada Web Application or database mappings.

  • New project template to generate Gtk Ada application
  • Register the new module in the application when they are added
  • Update the current testsuite when new tests are added
  • New stereotype <<Limited_Bean>> for Ada bean generation
  • Support for the creation of Debian packages
  • New command add-form and add-module-operation

You can download the new version at http://download.vacs.fr/dynamo/dynamo-0.7.0.tar.gz

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Ada Web Application 0.3.0 is available

By stephane.carrez

Ada Web Application is a framework to build web applications.

  • AWA uses Ada Server Faces for the web framework. This framework is using several patterns from the Java world such as Java Server Faces and Java Servlets.
  • AWA provides a set of ready to use and extendable modules that are common to many web application. This includes managing the login, authentication, users, permissions.
  • AWA uses an Object Relational Mapping that helps in writing Ada applications on top of MySQL or SQLite databases. The ADO framework allows to map database objects into Ada records and access them easily.
  • AWA is a model driven engineering framework that allows to design the application data model using UML and generate the corresponding Ada code.

Ada Web Application Architecture

The new version of AWA provides:

  • New jobs plugin to manage asynchronous jobs,
  • New storage plugin to manage a storage space for application documents,
  • New votes plugin to allow voting on items,
  • New question plugin to provide a general purpose Q&A.

AWA can be downloaded at http://code.google.com/p/ada-awa/downloads/list

A live demonstration of various features provided by AWA is available at http://demo.vacs.fr/atlas

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Dynamo 0.6.0 is available

By stephane.carrez

Dynamo is a tool to help developers write some types of Ada Applications which use the Ada Server Faces or Ada Database Objects frameworks. Dynamo provides several commands to perform one specific task in the development process: creation of an application, generation of database model, generation of Ada model, creation of database.

The new version of Dynamo provides:

  • A new command build-doc to extract some documentation from the sources,
  • The generation of MySQL and SQLite schemas from UML models,
  • The generation of Ada database mappings from UML models,
  • The generation of Ada beans from the UML models,
  • A new project template for command line tools using ADO,
  • A new distribution command to merge the resource bundles.

The most important feature is probably the Ada code generation from a UML class diagram. With this, you can design the data model of an application using ArgoUML and generate the Ada model files that will be used to access the database easily through the Ada Database Objects library. The tool will also generate the SQL database schema so that everything is concistent from your UML model, to the Ada implementation and the database tables.

The short tutorial below indicates how to design a UML model with ArgoUML, generate the Ada model files, the SQL files and create the MySQL database.

The Dynamo tool is available at http://code.google.com/p/ada-gen.

To build Dynamo, you will need:

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