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Process-Oriented Integration of Engineering Tools

An Eclipse-Based Environment for the Process-Oriented Integration of Engineering Tools by Thomas Mampilly, Sponsored by The Department of Integrated System Engineering, OSU

The purpose of this study is to design a flexible and extensible environment for the integration of engineering tools using the Eclipse platform. We use facilities planning as the case study engineering application. The case study is used to elicit requirements and analyze the performance of our design solution. The study is divided into four phases: First, we examine the current state of facilities planning. We examine PFAST, a software suite that is on the cutting edge of facilities planning research, and infer reasons for its lack of acceptance from client experiences. We elicit requirements of facilities planning systems from the user’s perspective, the researcher’s perspective and the developer’s perspective. Next, we examine existing solutions that address the gathered requirements and consider their advantages and disadvantages. We analyze integration paradigms, focusing on process integration – an integration paradigm that enables software components to be integrated within a reified, structured process. Next, we detail the design and implementation of a rich client application that enables the process-based integration of services packaged as eclipse plug-ins. The implementation leverages existing technologies such as the eclipse platform and JBOSS jBPM. Finally, we deploy facilities planning service plug-ins and orchestration processes on the process integration system. We detail the implementation of the service plug-ins and the modeling of an exemplar facilities planning process. We draw conclusions on the adherence of the solution to the requirements of the user, researcher and developer. The study makes three significant contributions: an overview of the requirements of engineering environments through the analysis of facilities planning systems, an analysis of existing technology to serve the requirements of facilities planning systems, and a process-oriented integration framework for eclipse that enables the integration of disparate engineering tools in a common environment.

Student: Thomas Mampilly

Sponsored by The Department of Integrated System Engineering, OSU

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