These pages hold information on the ongoing project between ABB and Northeastern University. The project examines the two, independantly developed areas, of AOSD and the ABB AIP system in order to identify and discuss common problems/issues when it comes to Aspect Orientation Software Design and implemetation.

On the one side the AOSD community has recently received a great deal of interest and importance in Academic but also Industrial circles. AOSD being a relatively new technology there are many different views on how one defines as well as facilitates Aspect Oriented Design and its implemetation. Projects around the world gave rise to new language tools as well as Software Design principles that facilitate Aspect Oriented Design and its implementation. Notable examples being AspectJ from Xerox PARC, Composition Filters, Demeter etc.

ABB with AIP provides a large scale software, designed and implemented with similar concerns as those of the AOSD community. As such, AIP is a first full blown industrial application that exercises most (if not all) of the issues that AOSD attempts to address. At the same time, the unique approach of the AIP system towards AOSD and its deployment in the real world make AIP an excellent candidate from which Aspect Orientation can be better understood and imporved to meet the actual needs of todays software applications.

Description of Work

ABB has developed a new technology for automation systems called AspectObjects for ABB's Industrial IT initiative. These AspectObjects represent real objects of automated plants in software and are used as a central point to manage all the data belonging to an object (e.g., control information, signal data, documentation, maintenance data etc.). The software platform available from ABB that handles AspecObjects is called Aspect Integrator Platform (AIP). With this university collaboration, ABB would like to put its AspectObject technology into the general context to Aspect-Oriented Software Development (AOSD).

Purpose of collaboration:

  • Clarify the used terms of AOSD and AIP and related them to each other
  • Clarify the benefit of AOSD for the further development of ABB's AIP
  • Provide concepts to enhance ABB AspectObject model to further incorporate AOSD ideas

The Portal

This portal page will serve as a medium to post and exchange ideas about AOSDand the ABB(AIP) system.
The AspectJ link provides information (links) about the language and also explains how I plan to use AspectJ to see how one could simulate AIP's architecture and aspect philosophy. A more practical approach to see how an exisitng, general purpose Aspect Oriented programming language, could provide (certain) features that the ABB system has. At the same time, the reverse statement will also be tested (i.e. whether ABB's system lack certain features that AspectJ has and could be usefull for AIP).

From the documents link you can pick up some of the documents that will be created in the process. An explanation, of how I see and understand AIP. A document that will provide the mapping of terminologies between ABB and AOSD as well as more discussion between similarities of the ABB system and other AOSD technologies including Personalities, Aspectual Collaborations, Aspects and Frameworks etc.

Certain papers from the AOSD bibliography that I will use to base some of my discussion will be made available. As this is a protal page I would like (and actually encourage people) to feel free and browse around. If you have any comments concenrning the information and/or discussion on this pages feel free to mail me.

-- Theo