Application Profiles and Tailor-Made Conformance Test Systems

Application Profiles and Tailor-Made Conformance Test Systems

Ingo Dahn (University Koblenz-Landau, Germany) and Sascha Zimmermann (University Koblenz-Landau, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/jitsr.2010070105
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This article examines the potential of application profiles and domain profiles as means to adapt technical specifications of data structures to particular needs. The authors argue that application profiling is better suited to increase the use of formal specifications than the creation of new specifications. The authors also describe a method to generate specific conformance test systems for machine-readable application profiles. The authors describe the respective tool set of the SchemaProf Application Profiling Tool and the Generic Test System and report on the experience of their usage in developing and introducing the IMS Common Cartridge domain profile.
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Application profiles are adaptations of specifications to the needs of particular communities. While there are many communities that develop application profiles, few only have the resources to implement a dedicated test system for testing conformance with these profiles. This becomes even more severe if the profile involves several XML schemas or uses restrictions that cannot be expressed by XML schemas. The paper describes the role played by application profiles in the specification process. The development of the IMS Common Cartridge specification (IMS, 2008) serves as an example. Then SchemaProf, a tool to capture machine readable application profiles, is described. Based on these profiles a Generic Test System can be instantiated to create a profile-specific Test System. The final section describes the actual experience gained with this technology. All views expressed in this paper are solely those of the authors and do not express any position of the mentioned organizations.

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