IFML becomes a standard, WebRatio is ready
Finally, we made it!
It’s been only two years since my first blog post titled “What if WebML was a standard language?” in which I announced our plan to let our proprietary language WebML become an international standard.
Today I am extremely proud to say that the IFML Beta 1 specification is now available at the official OMG URL (www.omg.org/spec/IFML) and it is now listed in the OMG Specification Catalog (www.omg.org/spec), under the Modeling and Metadata heading, among other well-known standards such as UML.
IFML has already its official logo too. A relatively small piece of work, but a great step for its dissemination.
Why a new standard?
Compared to two years ago, the reasons for creating a new standard are the same, or even more pressing. In most cases, GUI and front-end software development continues to be a costly and inefficient process, where manual coding is the predominant development approach, reuse of design artifacts is low, and cross-platform portability remains difficult. So far, tools like WebRatio have acted as lone fighters against this tendency: even our excellent success stories remain localized to our customers and do not touch the large majority of software that is being developed worldwide.
One of the reasons of this is that the software industry missed a high-level modeling languages for UIs. Well, with IFML this is going to change pretty soon!
A standardization process in record time!
The standardization of IFML by OMG is a great result, especially because we obtained it in a very short timeframe, compared to many other long-awaited standards, which testifies for the importance of the matter. If you want to know more about how the adoption phase was carried out, you can read this detailed report by Marco Brambilla. (http://www.modeldrivenstar.org/2013/03/IFML-becomes-OMG-standard.html).
There is still some way to go for getting to the final IFML 1.0 specification, including collection of feedback and issues (and I’m confident we will get valuable input from users to consolidate the specification). But I believe that IFML has all the aces for being a winning hand in the software modeling field:
- the direct involvement of large influential industrial players in its definition;
- the standardization of the language within a recognized international body;
- the seamless integration with widespread software modeling languages such as UML or BPMN and the whole MDA suite;
- the availability of both opensource editors (take a look at our opensource IFML editor) and of industrial-strength implementations supporting end-to-end development, from model definition to code generation and deployment (take a look at WebRatio);
- the definition of modeling features particularly attentive to model usability, understandability, implementability, reusability and extensibility.
For these reasons we are not at the end of a path, but only at the beginning of a great story!