Welcome to the exff Pages
exff is "exPRESS for free"
exff (pronounced "XF") is a project designed to enable the integration and use of the EXPRESS language, and therefore the STEP standards, with UML-based modelling and implementation tools.
exff Release 0.1 shows feasibility:
The exff Project is currently working/planning Release 0.2. exff will result in a full suite of modelling and implementation tools.
The main exff business goal is to speed the development and deployment of Industrial Data applications.
In the domain of Industrial Data, the ISO EXPRESS data specification language, the eXtensible Markup Language (XML), and the Unified Modeling Language (UML) are three key technologies for the data modeling and software engineering communities.
The exff business goal is to be met by:
The exff technical approach is to extend existing open source, or free, modeling tools and integrated development environments so that they support the interoperability of the key information technologies. Many of these support the Object Management Group standard for model interchange called XML Metadata Interchange (XMI). XMI is the key enabling technology standard for exff.
By using XMI, the exff results will also be easy to apply to the numerous commercial software tools supporting that standard. This benefits organizations, both large and small, requiring interoperability and allows quicker development and deployment of innovative solutions. Figure 1 shows the architecture of exff. exff allows the interchange between EXPRESS, UML and Integrated Development Environment tools as well as directly driving some aspects of implementation itself.
Figure 1 - The exff Architecture
The exff infrastructure will also make existing standard models available to a wider audience by allowing them to be recast into the languages used in other disciplines. Examples of this include:
Based on the exff infrastructure, domain-specific applications (e.g. Systems Engineering ) can be developed that implement ISO and OMG standards, and that can be harmonized with related standards and/or proprietary solutions in other domains as well.
Based on the exff infrastructure, organizations will also be able to re-use elements of models, standard or not, in their internal development. This will reduce costs and speed implementation.
The exff Project is developed under the Common Public License.