In Aspect-oriented Software Development Conference, pages 63-74, Chicago, IL, March 2005.
Acceptance rate: 21%. Number of submissions: 86.
Middleware becomes increasingly important in building distributed applications. Today, conventional middleware systems are designed, implemented, and packaged prior to their applications. We argue that with this middleware construction paradigm it is often difficult to meet the challenges imposed by application specific customization requirements. We propose to reverse this paradigm by automatically synthesizing middleware structures as the result of reasoning about the distribution needs of the user application of middleware. We term this type of post-postulated middleware Just-in-time middleware (JiM). In this paper, we present our initial design and present an evaluation of the JiM paradigm through Abacus, a CORBA middleware implementation based on the aspect oriented refactoring of an industrial strength object request broker. In addition, we present Arachne, the Abacus synthesizer, which integrates source analysis, feature inference, and implementation synthesis. Our evaluations show that, through automatic synthesis alone, Abacus is able to support diversified application domains with very flexible architectural compositions and versatile resource requirements as compared to conventional pre-postulated approaches.