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XMAP - A General Purpose Process for Describing Software Systems

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000105968D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-20
Document File: 4 page(s) / 109K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Kresge, K: AUTHOR

Abstract

XMAP is a process for building descriptions of software systems (collections of programs and other software objects). XMAP consists of a language for describing software objects, a method for controlling the vocabulary of the language, a processor that analyzes statements in the language, and the data produced by the processor. The figure depicts the components of XMAP and conveys its context.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 48% of the total text.

XMAP - A General Purpose Process for Describing Software Systems

      XMAP is a process for building descriptions of software systems
(collections of programs and other software objects).  XMAP consists
of a language for describing software objects, a method for
controlling the vocabulary of the language, a processor that analyzes
statements in the language, and the data produced by the processor.
The figure depicts the components of XMAP and conveys its context.

      XMAP serves as a bridge between the persons or analysis tools
that extract information from individual programs, and the
presentation tools that give this information back to the user in
various formats.

XMAP has four components:

1.   DESCRIPTIVE STATEMENTS are a simple language for describing a
    software object at a high level of detail.  The language is
    designed to convey those characteristics of the object relevant
    to understanding its relationship to other objects in the system.
    There are at least five statement types:

    o   OBJECT - begins the description of an object, providing its
        name and descriptive text.

    o   REFERENCE - identifies a connection between the object and
        another object.

    o   DATA - identifies data used by the object.

    o   PROPERTY - identifies properties of the object.

    o   END - Marks the end of the description.

    Here are descriptions of three objects, using these statements:

           OBJECT iecvabc                OBJECT panxyz        OBJECT
subjcl
           'Invokes the panel function'  'Invokes jcl exec'
'Submits a job'
           REFERENCE panxyz              REFERENCE subjcl     END
subjcl
           DATA  ispxyz ispabc            DATA ispxyz
           END iecvabc                   END panxyz

          The language allows for the nesting of descriptions, to
    convey relationships of hierarchy or containment between objects.

          Other forms of syntax can also be used for the same
    purpose.  XMAP is thus a programming language for building a
    high-level description of diverse kinds of entities.  rather than
    a detailed description of a single kind of entities.

2.  The VOCABULARY INTERFACE enables the user to customize the
    vocabulary of the DESCRIPTIVE STATEMENTS so that the statements
    exactly suit the system being described.  For example, to
    describe a system composed of a set of ordinary program modules,
    some command lists ("EXECs" written in REXX language) and ISPF
    panels, the user might change the vocabulary as follows:

    o   Replace the term 'OBJECT' with: 'MODULE,' 'EXEC,' and
        'PANEL.'

    o   Replace the term 'REFERENCE' with: 'CALL,' 'EXEC,' and
        'DISPLAY.' Specify that CALL connects...