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Open Access Publications from the University of California

VISTA--a visual interface for software reuse in TROMLAB environment


This paper introduces an automatic tool facilitating software reuse. Reusable software components have the potential to increase productivity and reduce development costs. Several research and industrial experience reports show that practicing and achieving high levels of software reuse post technical and managerial challenges. Researchers advocate using component repository technologies and object-oriented development methods within computer-aided software engineering (CASE) environments to address these challenges. Yet additional research is needed to solve them.

Our approach promotes reuse at the specification level rather than merely at the code level. This paper presents our research in elevating reuse capabilities within TROMLAB, a rigorous development environment for real-time reactive systems. We have developed VISTA (Visual Interface for Software Reuse in TROMLAB Applications), which supports automatic search and retrieval of TROMLAB components. VISTA is a visual interface for practicing software reuse in TROMLAB. VISTA provides facilities to navigate reusable component repositories, to inspect components and their dependencies, and to retrieve and modify components for reuse. VISTA works in conjunction with the graphical user interface of TROMLAB, thus providing an environment for active reuse while developing real-time reactive systems. This paper introduces VISTA in the context of TROMLAB. As background, the paper presents an overview of the TROMLAB environment and the TROM methodology as well as the components modeled by TROM. The primary focus is on VISTA, the interface facilitating software reuse within TROMLAB.

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