Dynamic Browsing and Instantiation Capabilites in EMF

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Introduction

EMF provides a reflective editor, which can view and edit any EMF model file, using only the model meta-data i.e. the ecore file. It provides similar function to the default generated editor, but it can't be easily customized.

In this short write up I have tried to pen down the steps involved for using this reflective editor which is quiet a hidden feature in EMF.


Using the Reflective Editor – an Example

Step 1. Create an Empty EMF Project.
Step 2. Create an Ecore using the Example EMF Model Creation Wizards > Ecore Model

        The Ecore editor would open with the package as null.
        Double Click on the package:null to update the Name and NsURI Property.
               For e.g. /resource/<Plugin Name>/<Folder Name>/<Ecore Name>.ecore

Step 3. Update the Ecore to represent your model.
Step 4. Once the ecore is updated, right click on the RootObject (EClass) of your model that you would want to instantiate and select Create Dynamic Instance...
Step 5. Selecting this would open a Wizard for creating a Dynamic Instantiation of your created Model. Provide the <filename>.xmi wherein you would like to serialise your instantiated data.
Step 6. This would open an instance of the Reflective Editor in Eclipse, loading the created <filename>.xmi that contains the instance of your model's rootObject.

       In the editor, you would find two root nodes 
               .xmi file and 
               .ecore file
       
       Looking more into detail would make it more evident that this .xmi file is
       a dynamic instantiation of the EMF Model described by the .ecore file.

Make any ecore change and you would be able to instantiate and browse those changes in the Reflective Editor.

Note:: for every change in the ecore, you need to close and reopen the .xmi that was generated to see the changes.

--Annamalai.chockalingam.gmail.com 12:17, 7 February 2007 (EST)