3: Domain Model Definition in Visual C#.NET

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3: Domain Model Definition
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all of the basic ideas, using the Issue State example introduced in 2 as a source of examples It also delves more deeply into some of the ner points of domain modeling, using some modi cations to the Issue State example to illustrate the key issues
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The Domain Model Designer
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We start building the Issue State domain model in the DSL authoring solution described in the previous chapter, created using the Domain-Speci c Language designer wizard The minimal language template creates a good starting point In the wizard, the company name is set to CJKW, the language name to IssueStateModels, and the le extension to iss From the resulting domain model, everything is deleted except the domain class ExampleModel and the IssueStateModelsDiagram, which are renamed to IssueStateModel and IssueStateDiagram, as shown in Figure 3-1
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Figure 3-1: Smallest valid domain model
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The In-Memor y Store
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The topic of this chapter, the domain model, is the set of elements that appear in the left-hand area of the design surface, marked Classes and Relationships
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If you try to validate this domain model by right-clicking over the design surface and selecting Validate All, you may get a couple of errors because of elements in the Toolbox part of the de nition that refer to elements that you ve deleted It is ne to delete these toolbox elements, because this chapter will not discuss the toolbox Once they are deleted, the domain model should validate; it is in fact the smallest valid domain model, which contains a single domain class associated with a single diagram
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Whenever your domain model is valid, you can create a designer to try out by pressing the Transform All Templates button in the solution explorer and pressing F5 to build and run your design You might even try this on the domain model shown in Figure 3-1 In the resulting designer, each iss le will load as a blank diagram associated with a model explorer that shows a single IssueStateModel element and no means to add anything else When the domain model is completed, the diagram will still be blank but you ll be able to create models using the model explorer, save them as iss les, and reload them Later chapters will show how to complete the user interface of your designer with shapes, connectors, toolbox entries, and customized behavior
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The In-Memory Store
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Before going any further in building the domain model, it is a good idea to understand something of what happens at DSL runtime inside a generated DSL tool At the heart of a DSL tool is a set of APIs called the In-Memory store We often call it simply the store; it is implemented by means of a class called Store, which is available to the DSL author as part of the DSL APIs The store provides a set of basic facilities to support the behavior of a DSL
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3: Domain Model Definition
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tool: creation, manipulation, and deletion of model elements and links; transactions, undo/redo, rules, and events; and access to the domain model When a DSL tool such as the Issue State designer is launched, for example, by opening one of its les, a new Store is created and initialized by telling it about the domain models that make up the DSL that it will be executing We ll describe how this is done later in this chapter Once the store has been created and initialized, the DSL runtime executes by creating and manipulating model elements and element links In the DSL Tools API, the abstract classes ModelElement and ElementLink provide access to all of the functionality available for creating, manipulating, and deleting model elements and links in the store As we ll see, the code generated for the domain model when you press Transform All Templates in the DSL designer mainly consists of classes derived from these For brevity, when describing instances of classes derived from ModelElement, we often refer simply to model elements, or MELs; we similarly refer to instances of classes derived from ElementLink as links Consider the simple model of issue states shown in Figure 3-2, consisting of the states Raised, SubmittedForAssessment, Pending, and Closed, connected by transitions as shown
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