Domain-Specific Languages for Enterprise Systems

Tom Hvitved, Patrick Bahr and Jesper Andersen
Technical Report, Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen, 2011.


The process-oriented event-driven transaction systems (POETS) architecture introduced by Henglein et al. is a novel software architecture for enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. POETS employs a pragmatic separation between (i) transactional data, that is what has happened; (ii) reports, that is what can be derived from the transactional data; and (iii) contracts, that is which transactions are expected in the future. Moreover, POETS applies domain-specific languages (DSLs) for specifying reports and contracts, in order to enable succinct declarative specifications as well as rapid adaptability and customisation. In this report we document an implementation of a generalised and extended variant of the POETS architecture. The generalisation is manifested in a detachment from the ERP domain, which is rather an instantiation of the system than a built-in assumption. The extensions amount to a customisable data model based on nominal subtyping; support for run-time changes to the data model, reports and contracts, while retaining full auditability; and support for referable data that may evolve over time, also while retaining full auditability as well as referential integrity. Besides the revised architecture, we present the DSLs used to specify data definitions, reports, and contracts respectively, and we provide the complete specification for a use case scenario, which demonstrates the conciseness and validity of our approach. Lastly, we describe technical aspects of our implementation, with focus on the techniques used to implement the tightly coupled DSLs.

Category: Domain-specific Languages