Impact of MDE approaches on the maintainability of Web applications: an experimental evaluation
Yulkeidi Martínez, Cristina Cachero, Maristella Matera, Silvia Abrahao, Sergio Luján-Mora
30th International Conference on Conceptual Modeling (ER 2011), p. 233-246: Lecture Notes in Computer Science 6998, Brussels (Belgium), October 31 - November 3 2011. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-24606-7_18
(ER'11) Congreso internacional / International conference
Model-driven Engineering (MDE) approaches often present themselves as a solution to palliate the complexity of software maintainability tasks. However, there is no empirical evidence of their benefits and limitations with respect to code-based maintainability practices. To fill this gap, this paper illustrates the results of an empirical study, involving 44 subjects, in which we compared an MDE methodology, WebML, and a code-based methodology based on PHP with respect to the performance and satisfaction of junior software developers while executing analysability, corrective and perfective maintainability tasks on Web applications. Results show that the involved subjects performed better with WebML than with PHP, although they showed a slight preference towards tackling maintainability tasks directly on the source code. Further experiments, which are a must in order to generalize the results, can benefit from our experimental procedure, delivered as a replicable laboratory package.