Scientific workflows with the jABC framework

A review after a decade in the field
  • Anna-Lena LamprechtEmail author
  • Bernhard Steffen
  • Tiziana Margaria


The jABC is a framework for process modelling and execution according to the XMDD (eXtreme model-driven design) paradigm, which advocates the rigorous use of user-level models in the software development process and software life cycle. We have used the jABC in the domain of scientific workflows for more than a decade now—an occasion to look back and take stock of our experiences in the field. On the one hand, we discuss results from the analysis of a sample of nearly 100 scientific workflow applications that have been implemented with the jABC. On the other hand, we reflect on our experiences and observations regarding the workflow development process with the framework. We then derive and discuss ongoing further developments and future perspectives for the framework, all with an emphasis on simplicity for end users through increased domain specificity. Concretely, we describe how the use of the PROPHETS synthesis plugin can enable a semantics-based simplification of the workflow design process, how with the jABC4 and DyWA frameworks more attention is paid to the ease of data management, and how the Cinco SCCE Meta-Tooling Suite can be used to generate tailored workflow management tools.


Scientific workflows Model-driven design Workflow modeling Process modeling Loose programming Automatic workflow composition 



Many thanks go to our students and cooperation partners for all the scientific workflow applications that would not have been implemented without them. We also thank Alexander Wickert for his assistance in the process modelling courses and for his contributions to the service usage analysis functionality of jABCstats. This work was supported, in part, by Science Foundation Ireland Grant 13/RC/2094 and co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund through the Southern & Eastern Regional Operational Program to Lero—the Irish Software Research Centre (


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna-Lena Lamprecht
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bernhard Steffen
    • 2
  • Tiziana Margaria
    • 1
  1. 1.Lero - The Irish Software Research CentreUniversity of LimerickLimerickIreland
  2. 2.Chair of Programming SystemsTU Dortmund UniversityDortmundGermany

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