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Revision as of 08:17, 23 February 2010 by Rath.mit.bme.hu (Talk | contribs) (Project Overview)

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Project Overview

The main objective of the VIATRA2 (VIsual Automated model TRAnsformations) framework is to provide a general-purpose support for the entire life-cycle of engineering model transformations including the specification, design, execution, validation and maintenance of transformations within and between various modeling languages and domains.

VIATRA2 intends to complement existing model transformation frameworks in providing

  • a model space for uniform representation of models and metamodels
  • a transformation language with
    • both declarative and imperative features
    • based upon popular formal mathematical techniques of graph transformation (GT) and abstract state machines (ASM)
  • a high performance transformation engine
    • supporting incremental model transformations
    • trigger-driven live transformations where complex model changes may trigger execution of transformations
    • handling well over 100,000 model elements (see our benchmarks)
  • with main target application domains in
    • model-based tool integration framework
    • model analysis transformations

Getting started with VIATRA2

VIATRA2 Common Use Cases

VIATRA2 primarily aims at designing model transformations to support the precise model-based systems development with the help of invisible formal methods. Invisible formal methods are hidden by automated model transformations projecting system models into various mathematical domains (and, preferably, vice versa). In this way, VIATRA2 nicely complements other model transformation tools within the GMT initiative.

The most traditional application area for VIATRA2 – started as early as 1998 – is to support the transformation-based dependability analysis of system models taken from various application areas (safety-critical and/or embedded systems, robust e-business applications, middleware, serviceoriented architecture) described using various modeling languages (BPM, UML, etc.) during a model-driven systems engineering process. Such a model (and transformation)-based dependability analysis typically also includes the verification & validation, the testing, the safety and security analysis as well as the early assessment non-functional characteristics (such as reliability, availability, responsiveness, throughput, etc.) of the system under design. In addition, model transformations for specification, design, deployment, optimization or code generation in traditional model-driven systems engineering are also focal areas for VIATRA2.

The VIATRA framework is a universal model transformation tool, in the sense that it supports a number of typical use-cases in MDD:

  • Model import and export. through its universal model storage (VIATRA2/GettingStarted/Model_Editing), VIATRA2 is able to support several models (conforming to potentially distinct metamodels) within the same model space. Models can be imported and exported (VIATRA2/UseCases/ModelExportImport) through plugins, with built-in support for important formats such as UML.
  • Model-to-model transformations. VIATRA can run your model-to-model transformations very efficiently thanks to its incremental graph pattern matching engine. Transformations may be specified in a high-level language (VIATRA2/GettingStarted/Creating_Transformations).
  • Model-to-code transformations. VIATRA is also a code generator. Code generation is essentially a special case of model transformations, where textual output is also emitted. VIATRA can simultaneously write to multiple outputs, both to in-memory buffers and workspace files (VIATRA2/UseCases/CodeGeneration).

Transformation development with VIATRA2

VIATRA2 supports a number of advanced techniques for transformation development.

  • Invoking native code.One of the most important features is VIATRA's ability to invoke your Java code directly from transformation programs. This way, you can integrate your transformations to any existing software environment. A few examples: VIATRA can manipulate external data resources - databases, remote services -, you can create efficient native functions for advanced data queries such as custom random number and ID generation, etc.) For details, see VIATRA2/UseCases/InvokeNativeCode.
  • Debugging and visualisation. See VIATRA2/UseCases/DebuggingAndVisualisation for details.
  • Traceability modeling. See VIATRA2/UseCases/TraceabilityModels for details.

For further information on general best practices, see VIATRA2/UseCases/TransformationBestPractices.

Standard conformance

We need to point out that the underlying modeling and transformation concepts of VIATRA2 are nonstandard.

VIATRA2 plans to support related standards by offering

  • powerful and extensible model importers and exporters
  • exporters/importers of other transformation languages (e.g. QVT)
  • domain specific languages integrated to the framework as VIATRA2 (and thus Eclipse) plug-ins.

Known uses

The VIATRA2 framework currently served as a key underlying model transformation technology in various research projects including:

We regularly received valuable feedback from the following institutes

  • ARCS, Vienna, AUT
  • LMU Munich, GER
  • TU Kaiserslautern, GER
  • Univ. of Pisa, ITA
  • Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

Partners and supporters

VIATRA2 development is supported by the following institutions and companies:

  • Budapest University of Technology and Economics, HUN
  • OptXware Research and Development LLC, HUN
  • YourKit LLC, RUS

YourKit is kindly supporting open source projects with its full-featured Java Profiler. YourKit, LLC is the creator of innovative and intelligent tools for profiling Java and .NET applications. Take a look at YourKit's leading software products: YourKit Java Profiler and YourKit .NET Profiler.

Technical Information

Obtaining VIATRA2

VIATRA2 Downloads

Check here for more information.


See VIATRA2/Installation.


For basic examples of VTCL code, you should first check VIATRA2/Examples/VTCL

For more up-to-date tutorials, howtos and descriptions you can browse VIATRA2/Basics and VIATRA2/Examples.

The official page has details on the available documentation. In short, the following off-line documentation is available (which are not completely up-to-date, unfortunately):

  • User's guide: PDF
  • Transformation language specification: PDF