Generating Collaborative Systems for Digital Libraries: a Model-Driven Approach
The design and development of a digital library involves different stakeholders, such as: information architects, librarians, and domain experts, who need to agree on a common language to describe, discuss, and negotiate the services the library has to offer. To this end, high-level, language-neutral models have to be devised. Metamodeling techniques favor the definition of domainspecific visual languages through which stakeholders can share their views and directly manipulate representations of the domain entities. This paper describes CRADLE (Cooperative-Relational Approach to Digital Library Environments), a metamodel-based framework and visual language for the definition of notions and services related to the development of digital libraries. A collection of tools allows the automatic generation of several services, defined with the CRADLE visual language, and of the graphical user interfaces providing access to them for the final user. The effectiveness of the approach is illustrated by presenting digital libraries generated with CRADLE, while the CRADLE environment has been evaluated by using the cognitive dimensions framework.