OOA '20 Questions: (Inter-domain) Messages

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    Method: System Modeling

    (Inter-domain) Messages

    synchronous and asynchronous
    Should there be a distinction between synchronous and asynchronous messages between domains? If so, what are the semantic differences?
    Should senders block on transmission of synchronous inter-domain messages returning no data (void)?

    [Scenario] Consider domains ‘navigation’ and ‘braking’. A statement within the
    the interior of a state action of an instance state machine in ‘navigation’ sends
    the ‘apply friction’ message (invokes a terminator service) on ‘braking’.
    See Action Semantics for the UML for discussion on intra-domain messaging


    Let’s start with some definitions:
    Synchronous messaging – call and wait until completion
    Asynchronous messaging – call and continue

    If we can agree on these, then there is a very definite advantage in the analyst knowing which kind of messaging is being performed, so there should be a designation applied for all accessors (bridges, events, class operations) that can support either type of messaging.
    “void” is just an indication of no return value, and if used to imply a messaging type, then another term would need to be invented for no return value.
    As the block on transmission is implied by the definition of a synchronous message, it should be expected when the analyst chooses to call a synchronous bridge. However, it is possible to override this behavior in the architecture for specific platforms. This would need to be done with caution, as the model is obviously intending something to be completed.

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