IFML – the Interaction Flow Modeling Language, moves on to Beta2

After 6 months from its adoption, IFML moves on to a new, cleaned up version, named IFML Beta2.
The new version is the result of the feedback collected in these months from our partners, customers, researchers and developers, that are putting IFML at work in tools (primarily WebRatio) and at customers. This reality check phase is essential in the OMG adoption policy, as it acts as a validation for the standard.
For IFML, we collected (and addressed) 70+ issues. Although this meant a lot work, we are glad we got so much feedback.
The novelties of IFML Beta2 have been presented at OMG’s Technical Meeting in Santa Clara, CA, on December 11, 2013. They span various levels of details, starting from typo fixing, to better textual descriptions of the concepts, to solution of small mistakes in the metamodel and UML profile, up to some changes in the language concepts and notation. The latter are the most important aspects and they include:

  • Catching and Throwing events: the role of events in the model are now distinguished by two new concepts and different notations (catching events are represented by white circles, throwing events by black circles) 
  • Jump and Landing events: for letting throwing events of type Jump explicitly reference the target Landing events in the models 
  •  Menu ViewContainer: for describing interactive menus 
  • Module Definitions and Packages: for allowing defining reusable modules 
  • Generalization of the binding to the business logic and to the content model, thus letting IFML models reference also models different from UML ones 
  • Reference to BPMN: IFML modules can now explicitly refer to BPMN activities (meaning that the IFML model represents the implementation of the business activity). 
  • Context variables: variables can now be associated with the user context, for preserving the state of the application. 
  • Furthermore, the explicit list of allowed extensible concepts has been added. 

The status of the specification and the main metamodel changes are summarized in the presentation here below:

The new IFML Beta2 version will be released officially by OMG soon. The specification document will be available on the OMG site (I’ll let you know as soon as it is published).

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