The MetaDONE Research Project


This software allows software engineers to design their own modelling languages for specific application domains. It aims at helping them to implement software systems more efficiently with generative methods: the code is generated or configured from domain specific modelling languages (DSML). With this method, requirements can be more easily elicited and this makes the development of software easier, safer, and faster. A 5x-10x ROI factor is often cited for projects that adopt DSML based methods.


 General purpose modelling languages (such as UML, IDEF1X, …) have now shown their limits. Indeed, the will to encompass a wide spectrum of applications that cover areas from embedded systems to website or distributed systems is not realistic. For several years now, enterprises prefer specific modelling languages that are tuned to their business and needs. They are called “Domain Specific Modelling Languages” and can be used to model user interfaces, smart cars, applications for the internet of things, business products, home automation or control systems, … actually whatever you need. But engineering methods based on such languages need specific tool suites to edit and manage the specifications and enterprises would be severely penalized if such tools needed to be developed from scratch.

 Our product, MetaDONE, acts as a factory of Computer-Aided Software Engineering (CASE) tools for DSML. Within a few days, one person can define a brand new graphical CASE tool for a new DSML, or even a family of interrelated DSML. Additionnaly, this can evolve smoothly along with their models, notations, etc. This task doesn’t require any programming effort.

Innovations and advantages

MetaDONE has already proven its strengths on several case studies : Goal oriented requirements (GRL), Use case maps (UCM), User requirements notation (URN), Business process model notation (BPMN), Petri nets, Information modelling, Web Ontology Language (OWL), EMF, ... 

The main features that make this tool unique are :

  • DSML can be defined with overlapping concerns.
  • DSML can have an unlimited number of notations, depending on your viewpoints, users, concerns, ...
  • Notations are defined with a declarative language. No programming effort is required and SVG images, bitmaps, graphs, texts, and editing widgets can be smoothly composed together.
  • Notations can be hierarchical.
  • Languages, notations, models can co-evolve in a transparent manner.
  • Notations can trigger actions defined with scripts (Groovy, Javascript, ...)
  • Automatic layout of your diagrams whatever is your DSML.
  • The tool can easily be extended with OSGi bundles.
  • The tool can be easily customized or extended.


  • Two new screencasts on URN(GRL+UCM) Two new videos have been added to demonstrate how MetaDONE can support the both modelling languages GRL (Goal Requirement Language) and UCM (Use Case Map) withinh the URN notation.
    Posted Mar 2, 2016, 4:43 AM by Vincent Englebert
  • Screencast BPMN 2.0 A video showing MetaDONE in action with BPMN 2.0 is available.
    Posted Sep 17, 2014, 2:00 PM by Vincent Englebert
  • Screencast: Program undestanding with MetaDONE This video shows how the VisuDone plugin can intercept the JVM events to produce customizable views in MetaDONE and facilite the understanding of the program with dynamic analysis techniques.http ...
    Posted Sep 15, 2014, 4:24 AM by Vincent Englebert
  • New Technical Report Maes, P. and Englebert V. Developer's guide of the MetaDONE environment. The University of Namur - The PReCISE Research Center, 2014
    Posted Sep 6, 2014, 2:45 PM by Vincent Englebert
  • Master Thesis Master Thesis: Maes, Ph. Visualisations pour la compréhension de programmes avec un outil metaCASE The University of Namur - PReCISE Research Center, 2014.
    Posted Sep 3, 2014, 5:12 AM by Vincent Englebert
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