FRAMework Evolution
and Support


Paul Sorenson   Professor
Jim Hoover   Associate Professor
Eleni Stroulia   Assistant Professor
Garry Froehlich   PhD Student
Amr Kamel   PhD Student
Daqing Hou   PhD Student
Luyuan Liu   MSc Student
Tony Liu   MSc Student
David Ackerman   Summer Student
Mark Chandra   Summer Student
Cory Kapser   Summer Student
Matt Edwards   Summer Student

RESEARCH FUNDING: NSERC Strategic Grant $93K/year for three years (1999-2003)


Object-oriented (OO) frameworks allow developers to rapidly produce new software applications in a given domain because they provide large-scale reuse and reduced testing effort. This project is to support research that improves software development theory and practice using large-scale reuse through OO frameworks. Specifically, it involves:

  1. the enhancement of our hooks model for OO framework documentation and use
  2. the investigation of processes and the extension of a hooks tool to support application development
  3. the exploration of the maintenance of regression test harnesses during OO framework development
  4. the inclusion of intelligent assistants in support of development tasks and framework evolution; and
  5. the incorporation of an experience-base for each framework that promote experience sharing among framework users and forms the basis for tools in support of reviews and project estimation

This research will all be done in the context of building and enhancing real OO frameworks, some of which have already been used in commercial application development. The ultimate goal is improve the effectiveness of OO framework technology, and this should lead to a clear indication of under what situations it can or can not be effectively used. The results of this research should also have a very high potential for technology transfer that will result in further product development and better software engineering practice. Students participating in this research will be among the highest in demand in industry today.


The primary impact of this work is in two areas: economic development and software practice. Although we have had some valuable experience with OO framework technology, we (and the software industry more generally) need to study more extensively the economic benefits and effect on professional software practice. Our limited experience to date suggests that the economic impact can be enormous. The workstation based "fat client" version of the SizeMaster IV application for pressure relief valve sizing and selection software took 18 months, a little over 3 person-years effort and approximately $450,000. The web-based "thin client" version, SizeMaster V, took 5 months and $55,000, mainly because of the high level of reuse of the core EAF (Engineering Application Framework), and the evolvable architecture of the Kalos UI/workflow framework. Our latest effort of prototyping a e-commerce sizing and selection site for Sprague pumps, took 8 weeks of effort and $22,000 to build a usable proof of concept.

Website Note:
The image in the top frame also links to the Univeristy of Alberta, the Department of Computing Science and the Software Engineering Research Lab.