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Domain Specific Languages

Business Domain Specific Languages (DSLs) have several advantages over general purpose programming languages. These languages directly support high-level concepts from business domains with programming language constructs. DSL tooling takes responsibility for transforming, compiling or interpreting those business concept expressions into working systems. When the business domain and technology expertise are encapsulated in a DSL, users of the language boost productivity while also improving quality. But creating languages is hard. How does one go about deciding what should go into a DSL? How does one even know exactly how to define a DSL? What are the key attributes any DSL should have in order to be successful? What are the risks involved in developing or adopting a DSL? Most developers focus on learning languages, not creating them. This talk presents key advantages of DSLs, lays out advice on how to discover domains which would benefit from a DSL and also makes suggestions about how to ensure adoption of the DSL once it's been created. DSLs have become a fashionable trend: Microsoft's Software Factories and DSL Tools (Corona), Martin Fowler's Language Workbenches, Intentional Software JetBrains' new Meta Programming Sytem, and the Eclipse GMF project which runs under Borland's leadership are all examples of DSL related project and technologies.


About the Speaker

Dan Massey

Dan Massey is a principal architect in the Core SDP group at Borland. Prior to joining Borland, Dan was a TogetherSoft mentor and J2EE architect and developer.
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