Mentor Graphics Corp. (NASDAQ: MENT) announced its intention to place the front-end UML editor of its powerful BridgePoint™ xtUML environment into the open source domain. This action is intended to provide the system design community with broader access to comprehensive UML editing capabilities, encouraging advancement to powerful executable and translatable model-driven development.
UML entry provides a starting point for model-driven flows, which dramatically improve a company’s ability to capture design intent, validate requirements, communicate and manage data across disciplines and organizational boundaries, reuse intellectual property, and even generate downstream implementations.
BridgePoint is an advanced, proven, xtUML-based environment built upon the Eclipse IDE platform. The term xtUML indicates extensions to the standard UML, which enables execution of the UML model to verify its behavior along with translation of the UML into downstream implementation languages such as C, C++, SystemC and others, while supporting interface standards like IP-XACT and AUTOSAR. BridgePoint is comprised of a UML editor, a verifier (providing simulated execution capability), and a set of model compilers (providing translation). Mentor Graphics is moving the UML editor portion into the open source domain, providing the industry with a free entry point towards full model-driven development flows that can be augmented with user-developed model compilers. The BridgePoint product’s verifier and the current portfolio of commercial grade model compilers, which will plug into the open source UML editor, will remain Mentor Graphics products.
The Mentor Graphics® BridgePoint development team will participate in the open source community, contributing features and streamlining executable UML knowledge transfer. The BridgePoint software is actually used to develop the various components that make up the BridgePoint product recommended for customer use. Therefore, the code being placed into the open source domain includes the xtUML meta-model, the xtUML model of BridgePoint, and the Java source that interfaces with the Eclipse environment.
Stephen Mellor, originator of the modeling methodology that underlies BridgePoint xtUML, welcomed this new initiative, saying, “Open source has already reduced barriers to entry for modeling tools. Making BridgePoint open source now extends this benefit to users of executable and translatable UML, while allowing them to continue to gain from the extensive expertise captured by MGC’s model compilers and verification tools.”
“The availability of BridgePoint as an open source editor will enable the industry’s movement from static UML diagrams and paper-based processes to executable model-driven flows,” said Serge Leef, vice president and general manager, System Level Engineering Division, Mentor Graphics. “Over time, we expect the BridgePoint open source UML editor to become the de facto standard for UML trainers and educators.”
“There is growing interest in executable and translatable UML in our community, and this open source move is very timely for wider use in projects needing a high precision design, as well as an efficient code generation solution,” commented Takao Futagami, NPO SESSAME director.
Open source contributors will accelerate the improvement of the BridgePoint editor in novel directions. Users will be able to customize the editor to best support their specific modeling process. Companies will benefit from free access to models for their many users who need to view and edit them.