Migrating business logic to an incremental computing DSL: a case study

Daco C. Harkes, Elmer van Chastelet, Eelco Visser. Migrating business logic to an incremental computing DSL: a case study. In David Pearce 0005, Tanja Mayerhofer, Friedrich Steimann, editors, Proceedings of the 11th ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Software Language Engineering, SLE 2018, Boston, MA, USA, November 05-06, 2018. pages 83-96, ACM, 2018. [doi]

Abstract

To provide empirical evidence to what extent migration of business logic to an incremental computing language (ICL) is useful, we report on a case study on a learning management system. Our contribution is to analyze a real-life project, how migrating business logic to an ICL affects information system validatability, performance, and development effort.

We find that the migrated code has better validatability; it is straightforward to establish that a program ‘does the right thing’. Moreover, the performance is better than the previous hand-written incremental computing solution. The effort spent on modeling business logic is reduced, but integrating that logic in the application and tuning performance takes considerable effort. Thus, the ICL separates the concerns of business logic and performance, but does not reduce effort.