Using Model-Driven Development to Support Portable PaaS Applications

  • Elias NogueiraEmail author
  • Daniel Lucrédio
  • Ana Moreira
  • Renata Fortes
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 581)


Context: In cloud computing, lock-in refers to the difficulty of porting an application and/or data from one cloud platform to another. Current attempts to address this problem revolve around standardization of APIs and frameworks. We propose a different path, using model-driven engineering (MDE).

Objective: Our goal is to build a repository of MDE transformations and use code generation to reduce the development effort for each platform, thus reducing repetitive programing tasks, increasing portability and minimizing lock-in side-effects.

Method: To attain this objective, we developed an MDE approach to handle persistence for Google App Engine and Azure, and discuss how MDE can reconcile the differences between features of each platform persistence model. A controlled experiment has been performed to evaluate the proposal, in which subjects were asked to use two versions of the same application implemented using our MDE approach. Both versions, one for each platform, were generated from the same domain model.

Results: According to the subjects, no differences in functionality were perceptible between the two versions. Indeed, applications were more easily ported between the two chosen cloud providers without noticeable differences in terms of persistence functionality.

Conclusion: The main contribution of our work is to show that there is an alternative path to the standardization of cloud technologies. MDE can increase the portability of the applications by reducing the negative impacts of lock-in. A limitation of our approach, that is inherent to most MDE approaches, is that if the generated code needs to be adapted or modified, the MDE life-cycle can be broken. Changes in the generated code have to be replicated, either in the models or in the transformations, which is not a trivial task.


Cloud computing Model-Driven Engineering Platform-as-a-Service Portability Persistence 



We would like to thank FAPESP (processes 2012/24487-3 and 2012/04549-4), Coordination of Superior Level Staff Improvement - CAPES and Brazil-Europe Erasmus Mundus project (process BM13DM0002) for partially funding this research.


  1. 1.
    Chen, Y., Li, X., Chen, F.: Overview and analysis of cloud computing research and application. In: 2011 International Conference on E-Business and E-Government (ICEE), pp. 1–4 (2011)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Armbrust, M., Fox, A., Griffith, R., Joseph, A.D., Katz, R., Konwinski, A., Lee, G., Patterson, D., Rabkin, A., Stoica, I., Zaharia, M.: Above the clouds: a Berkeley view of cloud computing. Dept. Electrical Eng. and Comput. Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, Report UCB/EECS 28 (2009)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    da Silva, E.A.N., Lucredio, D.: Software engineering for the cloud: a research roadmap. In: 2012 26th Brazilian Symposium on Software Engineering, pp. 71–80 (2012)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    da Silva, E.A.N., Fortes, R.P.M., Lucrédio, D.: A model-driven approach for promoting cloud paas portability. In: Proceedings of the 2013 Conference of the Center for Advanced Studies on Collaborative Research, CASCON 2013, Riverton, NJ, USA, pp. 92–105. IBM Corp. (2013)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    da Silva, E.A.N., Moreira, A., Lucrrédio, D., andFortes, R.P.M.: Supporting multiple persistence models for PaaS applications using model-driven engineering. In: Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Cloud Computing and Services Science, CLOSER 2015, Lisbon, Portugal. INSTICC (2015)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    France, R., Rumpe, B.: Model-driven development of complex software: a research roadmap. In: Future of Software Engineering, FOSE 2007, pp. 37–54. IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC (2007)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kleppe, A., Jos, W., Wim, B.: MDA Explained, the Model-Driven Architecture: Practice and Promise. Addison-Wesley, Boston (2003)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mohagheghi, P., Dehlen, V.: Where is the proof? - a review of experiences from applying MDE in industry. In: Schieferdecker, I., Hartman, A. (eds.) ECMDA-FA 2008. LNCS, vol. 5095, pp. 432–443. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Khajeh-Hosseini, A., Sommerville, I., Bogaerts, J., Teregowda, P.: Decision support tools for cloud migration in the enterprise. In: 2011 IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing (CLOUD), pp. 541–548 (2011)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lucrédio, D., Almeida, E.S., Fortes, R.P.M.: An investigation on the impact of MDE on software reuse. In: 2012 Sixth Brazilian Symposium on Software Components Architectures and Reuse (SBCARS), pp. 101–110. IEEE (2012)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    ISO/IEC9126: Software product evaluation - Quality characteristics and guidelines for their use. ISO Norm. (1991)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Daniels, J.: Server virtualization architecture and implementation. Crossroads 16, 8–12 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Shirazi, M.N., Kuan, H.C., Dolatabadi, H.: Design patterns to enable data portability between clouds’ databases. In: 2012 12th International Conference on Computational Science and Its Applications (ICCSA), pp. 117–120 (2012)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Brambilla, M., Cabot, J., Wimmer, M.: Model-driven software engineering in practice. Synth. Lect. Softw. Eng. 1, 1–182 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Van Deursen, A., Klint, P., Visser, J.: Domain-specific languages: an annotated bibliography. ACM Sigplan Not. 35, 26–36 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Wohlin, C., Runeson, P., Host, M., Ohlsson, C., Regnell, B., Wesslén, A.: Experimentation in Software Engineering: An Introduction. Springer, Heidelberg (2000)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Juristo, N., Moreno, A.M.: Basics of Software Engineering Experimentation. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Armbrust, M., Fox, A., Griffith, R., Joseph, A.D., Katz, R., Konwinski, A., Lee, G., Patterson, D., Rabkin, A., Stoica, I., Zaharia, M.: A view of cloud computing. Commun. ACM 53, 50–58 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Tichy, W.F.: Should computer scientists experiment more? Computer 31, 32–40 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Silva, L., Soares, S.: Analyzing structure-based techniques for test coverage on a J2ME software product line. In: 10th Latin American Test Workshop, LATW 2009, pp. 1–6. IEEE (2009)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Schmidt, D.C.: Model-driven engineering. Comput.-IEEE Comput. Soc. 39(2), 25 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Miranda, J., Guillén, J., Murillo, J.M., Canal, C.: Development of adaptive multi-cloud applications a model-driven approach. In: MODELSWARD (2013)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ardagna, D., Di Nitto, E., Mohagheghi, P., Mosser, S., Ballagny, C., D’Andria, F., Casale, G., Matthews, P., Nechifor, C.S., Petcu, D., et al.: Modaclouds: a model-driven approach for the design and execution of applications on multiple clouds. In: 2012 ICSE Workshop on Modeling in Software Engineering (MISE), pp. 50–56. IEEE (2012)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Petcu, D.: Portability and interoperability between clouds: challenges and case study. In: Abramowicz, W., Llorente, I.M., Surridge, M., Zisman, A., Vayssière, J. (eds.) ServiceWave 2011. LNCS, vol. 6994, pp. 62–74. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Petcu, D., Vasilakos, A.V.: Portability in clouds: approaches and research opportunities. Scalable Comput. Pract. Experience 15(3) (2014)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Giove, F., Longoni, D., Yancheshmeh, M.S., Ardagna, D., Di Nitto, E.: An approach for the development of portable applications on paas clouds. In: Proceedings of CLOSER, pp. 591–601 (2013)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elias Nogueira
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Daniel Lucrédio
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ana Moreira
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Renata Fortes
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.University of São Paulo (ICMC-USP)São PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar)São CarlosBrazil
  3. 3.NOVA LINCSUniversidade NOVA de LisboaLisbonPortugal

Personalised recommendations