Applying MDD in the Content Management System Domain: Scenarios and Empirical Assessment
Paper i proceeding, 2019
Content Management Systems (CMSs) such as Joomla and WordPress dominate today's web. Enabled by standardized extensions, administrators can build powerful web applications for diverse customer demands. However, developing CMS extensions requires sophisticated technical knowledge, and the highly schematic code structure of an extension gives rise to errors during typical development and migration scenarios. Model-driven development (MDD) seems to be a promising paradigm to address these challenges, however it has not found adoption in the CMS domain yet. Systematic evidence of the benefit of applying MDD in this domain could facilitate its adoption; however, an empirical investigation of this benefit is currently lacking. In this paper, we present a mixed-method empirical investigation of applying MDD in the CMS domain, based on an interview suite, a controlled experiment, and a field experiment. We consider three scenarios of developing new (both independent and dependent) CMS extensions and of migrating existing ones to a new major platform version. The experienced developers in our interviews acknowledge the relevance of these scenarios and report on experiences that render them suitable candidates for a successful application of MDD. We found a particularly high relevance of the migration scenario. Our experiments largely confirm the potentials and limits of MDD as identified for other domains. In particular, we found a productivity increase up to factor 17 during the development of CMS extensions. Furthermore, our observations highlight the importance of good tooling that seamlessly integrates with already used tool environments and processes.
Content Management Systems