In model-driven software development, graphical editors can be used to create model
instances more effciently and intuitively than with pure XML code. These graphical
editors rely on models created on the basis of a meta-model. If such a meta-model is
extended invasively not only its code has to be re-generated but also the graphical editor
needs to be adapted. When developing multiple extensions, the meta-model as well as the
corresponding graphical editor tend to get complex and error-prone.
One way of coping with this complexity is to use modular meta-models and extending
them noninvasively. However, having multiple meta-model fragments providing extended
features is only half the job as equivalent graphical editors are needed as well.
This master’s thesis therefore analyzes different types of extensions for meta-models as
well as on graphical editor level. Next, a short analysis of extension mechanisms follows.
These mechanisms are used for different realizations of extension types. Like the extension
types, the mechanisms are also analyzed for both meta-models and for graphical editors.
While the classiffcation of extensions resembles one part of this thesis’ concept, their
mapping from meta-model level to graphical editor level marks the second part. This
mapping is done in order to show possible impacts of a meta-model extension to its
corresponding graphical editor.
To validate this concept, the analyzed mappings are implemented exemplarily in two
different frameworks. Furthermore, the two prototypes show the different possibilities
each framework has to offer when it comes to their capabilities of extension. Therefore,
this thesis can also be seen as guideline for extending a given graphical editor.