This post describes an idea, there is no implementation yet. AjGenesis, my open source code generation project, is based in models, tasks and template. Each artifact is used defined, so you can generate outputs for any technology, framework or platform.
The model resides in memory, during the process. You can load many models at the same time: in the provided examples, an abstract model (describing the solution to generate) and a technology model (defining the language, technology, database to use), are both used in the same process.
The model can be loaded from XML files, or from text files (this is a new feature I published recently, under testing). Now, I want to propose another way: model in Excel/spreedsheets files.
In a recent post:
I presented a simple model, in two representations: XML and textual. That model could be expressed in an Excel spreadsheet as:
The scope of an object description is determined by the indent: Entity Customer is an element of Entities. You can use a table to describe an element with multiple elements. A simple property can be described in two consecutives columns: first columm has the property, second one has the value. If you want to describe an object in another worksheet, [..] has the name of the worksheet where the rest of description resides, as in “Entity [Employee]”:
The main benefit for this model is the clear presentation you can achieve. Colors and fonts will be ignored when AjGenesis loaded the model. But the presentation is improved.
If this proposal is found useful by users, I could write the new model builder from Excel files. I have to choose what library to use: I could use the Excel object model provided by the tool. Any comments, suggestions?