Back from the grave: Model Driven Design

A few weeks ago I attended a symposium that was hold to celebrate  the 25 year anniversary of Computer Science at the Utrecht University.
In the drink after I talked to former fellow students who incidentally both for a companies that developed software that allowed you to develop software very quickly based on high level specifications: Model Driven Design. I though MDD had died out a few year as a big promise, but apparently I was wrong. One of the companies, Mendix, was already quite successful, at least according to the person working as software architect. The software of MDACompany seems still work in progress, but their approach of metaphors looks promising.

I started noticing other publications and advertisements on similar technologies. Ordina, a Dutch IT company, started an open source project Mod4j. At first glance, Ordina is using a traditional approach to MDD: using a model to generate source code, which can then be customized.  This approach had previously always failed, because in the end the customization was at the very least as costly and cumbersome as developing the software from scratch, but with less flexibility. Better approach seems to be using a DSL specifically. This approach is used by the two companies of the two former UU-students. Unlike Ordina, both companies don’t develop their software as Open Source so there’s little for me to download and try out.