Software engineers face significant information management during development such as; managing related information between software artifacts. Software traceability can improve software development by increasing accessibility of related artifacts. The goal of software traceability is to capture and use these relationships in order to support software development.
To accomplish this goal, ACTS framework present a set of techniques to capture traceability links by capturing user interactions with the artifacts. ACTS framework is a research project. It was developing by Dr. Asuncion along with her colleagues. It is implemented on top ArchStudio, a mature environment for architecture-centric development that is integrated with Eclipse. Along with capturing techniques, ACTS also incorporated with custom rules, represented as XSL Transformations (XLST) to analyze the recorded events and to transform them into traceability links.
Despite the benefits, the current ACTS framework has some limitation that can be improved. Currently, ACTS is implemented on top of ArchStudio which led to dependency issue. It only works with ArchStudio Modeling tool. To extend this capability to work other modeling tool such as EMF (Eclipse Modeling Framework), ACTS continue to use Eclipse Selection Event Model to detect user interaction.
Another major issue with the current ACTS framework is persistent traceability links. ACTS is storing traceability links into the modeling file, which is becoming a scalability issue as the file getting bigger. To solve this issue, ACTS is implementing the persistent layer to store traceability links to relational database (MySQL).
Figure 1: Redirect read/write Tracelinks to Data Access
Current ACTS tool has a great architect framework which provides a lot of room for extensibility. However, there are very few comments in the code and documents to support the implementation. What we need to do next is refine the tool as well as the code to easy to maintain such as; create Visio adapter to detect changes, create user interface to maintain database connectivity, and refactor the code.
One of the major pieces that I’ve learned in this project was the collection of data. The technique ACTS is using to integrate with tool specific to collect and transform data into traceability links.
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