Implementing a Domain-Specific Language with the Xtext Framework

OData support
Kövesdán Gábor
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

Nowadays the development of web applications is a continuously growing industry, fueled by the more and more widespread usage of websites and mobile applications. These applications mostly follow a Representational State Transfer (REST) architecture over HyperText Transfer Protocol to communicate over the network, which, opposing to some older technologies, does not have a unified interface descriptor for the network endpoints.

The producers of the different web frameworks try to alleviate the lack of such tools, which has the undesirable side effect of having learn and use many tools for everyday work, while having no guarantee that the descriptions created with various tools are compatible and their changes take effect on all endpoints.

Along with the general-purpose programming languages, the domain-specific languages, which can solve specific problems very efficiently, gain more and more recognition.

The thesis demonstrates how a textual domain-specific language, suitable for describing the REST communication, is developed with the corresponding tools. It shows the difficulties arising when developing the grammar, the validation and the other services, and the solutions for these problems. It illustrates how the model is processed when generating back-end and front-end code.

Then it gives insight to using the language by developing a sample application. At last the thesis presents the possibilities of further improvements after giving a summary of experiences and evaluating the solution.


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