Pluggable Systems as Architectural Pattern: An Ecosystemability Perspective
Paper in proceedings, 2015
In this paper we review the use of plug-in architectures as a technological platform for software ecosystems. Our observation is that the software community has viewed and used plug-ins as powerful extension mechanisms offering a wide range of quality properties. Looking beyond such low-level technical interpretation, we argue that pluggable systems should be perceived and treated as a higher level architectural pattern. In order to back our perspective we present the pattern following widely adopted documentation scheme, we show example usage of the pattern in the Eclipse ecosystem, and we discuss different implementation options of the pattern when building new technical solutions for ecosystems.