Empirical Software Engineering

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 89–116 | Cite as

An empirical study of the state of the practice and acceptance of model-driven engineering in four industrial cases

  • Parastoo Mohagheghi
  • Wasif Gilani
  • Alin Stefanescu
  • Miguel A. Fernandez


Model-Driven Engineering (MDE) has been promoted for many years as a means for handling the complexity of software development by raising the abstraction level and automating labor-intensive and error-prone tasks. However, there is little empirical evidence of the acceptance of MDE in industry which is the subject of this paper. The goal of this empirical study was to investigate the state of the practice of applying MDE and factors considered as important for its adoption. The subjects were developers of four large companies participating in a research project. The collected data came from multiple sources and covered the results of tool evaluations, interviews, and a survey. Among the factors, we found perceived usefulness, ease of use and the maturity of the tools to be important determinants for the adoption of MDE. We also discuss challenges with adopting MDE and present suggestions on how to succeed with the adoption process.


Model-driven engineering Empirical study Technology acceptance model Qualitative study Survey 



This work has been partially supported by the MODELPLEX project (IST-FP6-2006 Contract No. 34081, co-funded by the European Commission as part of the 6th Framework Program), REMICS project (funded by the European Commission, contract number 257793, within the 7th Framework Program) and by CNCS-UEFISCDI grant no. 7/05.08.20.


  1. Creswell JW (2002) Research design – qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches. Sage PublicationsGoogle Scholar
  2. Davis F (1989) Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and user acceptance of information technology. MIS Quarterly 13(3):318–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Davis F, Bagozzi RP, Warshaw PR (1989) User acceptance of computer technology: a comparison of two theoretical models. Manag Sci 35(8):982–1003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dybå T, Moe N.B, Mikkelsen E.M (2004) An empirical investigation on factors affecting software development acceptance and utilization of Electronic Process Guides. Proc. Software Metrics, 10th International Symposium (Metrics’04), pp. 220–231Google Scholar
  5. Evans A, Mohagheghi P, Fernández MA (2009) Experiences of developing a network modeling tool using the Eclipse environment. Proc. 5th European Conference on Model Driven Architecture Foundations and Applications (ECMFA’09), LNCS 5562, pp 301–312Google Scholar
  6. France R, Rumpe B (2007) Model-driven development of complex software: a research roadmap. Int Conf Software Eng (ICSE’07), pp 37–54Google Scholar
  7. Kirstan S, Zimmermann J (2010) Evaluating costs and benefits of model-based development of embedded software systems in the car industry - Results of a qualitative Case Study. Proc. ECMFA 2010 workshop C2M:EEMDD- from Code Centric to Model Centric: Evaluating the Effectiveness of MDD, pp. 18–29Google Scholar
  8. MODELWARE (2006) Deliverable D5.3-1 Industrial ROI, assessment, and feedback- master document, revision 2.2.Google Scholar
  9. Moe NB, Dybå T (2006) The use of an Electronic Process Guide in a medium-sized software development company. Software Process Improv Pract 11:21–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Mohagheghi P, Dehlen V (2008) Where is the proof? A review of experiences from applying MDE in industry. Proc. 4th European Conference on Model Driven Architecture Foundations and Applications (ECMFA’08), LNCS 5095, pp. 432–443Google Scholar
  11. Mohagheghi P, Fernández MA, Martell JA, Fritzsche M, Gilani W (2008) MDE adoption in industry: challenges and success criteria. Models in Software Engineering, Workshops and Symposia at MODELS 2008, LNCS 5421, pp. 54–59Google Scholar
  12. Mohagheghi P (2010) An approach for empirical evaluation of model-driven engineering in multiple dimensions. Proc. C2M:EEMDD 2010 workshop at ECMFA 2010- from Code Centric to Model Centric: Evaluating the Effectiveness of MDD, pp. 6–17Google Scholar
  13. Riemenschneider CK, Hardgrave BC, Davis FD (2002) Explaining software developer acceptance of methodologies: a comparison of five theoretical models. IEEE Trans Software Eng 28(12):1135–1145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Staron M (2006) Adopting model driven software development in industry- a case study at two companies. Proc ACM/IEEE 9th International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems (MoDELS/UML 2006), LNCS 4199:57–72Google Scholar
  15. Walderhaug S, Mikalsen M, Benc I, Erlend S (2008) Factors affecting developers' use of MDSD in the healthcare domain: evaluation from the MPOWER project. Proc. From Code Centric to Model Centric Software Engineering: Practices, Implications and ROI. Workshop at European Conference on Model-Driven ArchitectureGoogle Scholar
  16. Yin R.K (2002) Case study research – design and methods. Third edition, Sage publicationsGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Parastoo Mohagheghi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wasif Gilani
    • 3
  • Alin Stefanescu
    • 4
  • Miguel A. Fernandez
    • 5
  1. 1.SINTEFOsloNorway
  2. 2.The Norwegian University of Science and TechnologyOsloNorway
  3. 3.SAP Research CenterBelfastUnited Kingdom
  4. 4.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of PitestiPitestiRomania
  5. 5.EricssonValladolidSpain

Personalised recommendations