Coordination Contracts as Connectors in Component-Based Development

Barroca, Leonor and Fiadeiro, José Luiz (2002). Coordination Contracts as Connectors in Component-Based Development. In: 6th Bienneal World Conference on Integrated Design & Process Technology, 23-28 Jun 2002, Pasadena, USA.


Several proposals for component-based development
methods have started to appear. However, the emphasis is
still very much on the development of components as
opposed to the development with components. The main
focus is on how to generate ideal reusable components not
on how to plug existing components and specify their
interactions and connections.
The concept of a coordination contract (Andrade and
Fiadeiro 1999; Andrade and Fiadeiro 2001; Andrade,
Fiadeiro et al. 2001) has been proposed to specify a
mechanism of interaction between objects based on the
separation between structure, what is stable, and
interaction, what is changeable. This separation supports
better any change of requirements, as contracts can be
replaced, added or removed dynamically, i.e. in run-time,
without having to interfere with the components that they
coordinate. A coordination contract corresponds to an
expressive architectural connector that can be used to plug
existing components.
In this paper we integrate the concept of a coordination
contract with component-based development and show
how coordination contracts can be used to specify the
connectors between components.

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