Low-code platforms and metamodeling "standard"

Hello Strumenta community,

More than a year ago, I was mentioning in my introduction post that I was wondering if there was any low-code platform on the market that was embracing some of the standards from MDD / MDE.

Working on the evolution of my company internal low-code platform, I’m currently considering formalising our meta-model using something more standard than our in-house approach.

By more standard, I refer to EMF (as the only EMOF implementation I’m aware of), and using (or creating) one of the library mentioned in Polyglot Modeling/Metamodeling formats and frameworks - #29 by ftomassetti

In my recent research on this topic, and particularly on this forum, I came upon the fact that Mendix (particularly @meinte.boersma and @jos.warmer :wink:) has given some thoughts on its meta-model, even exposing a Model SDK (documented on their website).
This is the only example of an actual “public” (but not relying on a standard?) approach I could find.
Do you know of any other example in the low-code / rapid-application development industry?

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I do not know of other examples, but I am for sue interested in hearing more.

By the way, JetBrains MPS has a similar approach to EMF with some variations. Basically, the meta-metamodel of MPS is simplers (for example references can only have multiplicity up to 1).

From what I have heard MetaEdit+ is doing something slightly different because they have richer relationships, I think. Perhaps they support properties on relationships. @juha-pekka could perhaps tell us more

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Tools tend to apply their own metamodeling languages (e.g. State of the Art article by Erdweg et al. as fewer seems to use some “standard” like MOF/EMF alone. Reasons could be that something more is needed for a complete language definition covering also constraints and concrete syntax or that tool implementers have not found “standard” solutions adequate. To my knowledge, the most covering comparison of metamodeling languages is Kern et al.

When it comes to industrial use, MetaEdit+ is a commercial tool (I work for this company) and we provide a domain-specific language that was built already from the start to target language definition (=metamodeling). As @ftomassetti mentioned, we support properties for relationships, but also properties for roles, and even to ports in case language uses such. Figure below shows an overview, but there are also manuals for all details. It is based on other work done in the industrial settings, most importantly what MetaSystems Ltd did.

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Thank you @juha-pekka for the literature review!
I had forgotten about the LWC paper from 2013 even though we participated in the challenge with Generative Objects (and @walter.almeida)!

Another and recent paper on metamodeling related tools is a survey paper: “What do practitioners expect from the meta-modeling tools?”. It is interesting as touches current users views.

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