A Model-Driven Method for Fast Building Consistent Web Services from OpenAPI-Compatible Models

  • David SferruzzaEmail author
  • Jérôme Rocheteau
  • Christian Attiogbé
  • Arnaud Lanoix
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 991)


Lots of software companies rely on web technologies to test market hypotheses in order to develop viable businesses. They often need to quickly build web services that are at the core of their Minimum Viable Products (MVPs). MVPs must be reliable whereas they are based on specifications and hypotheses that are likely to change. Web services need to be well documented, to make it easy to develop applications that consume them. Model Driven Engineering approaches have been proposed and used to develop and evolve web services on one hand, and document them on the other hand. However, these approaches lack the ability to be suitable for both (i) rapid prototyping, (ii) model verification, (iii) compatibility with common programming languages and (iv) alignment between documentation and implementation. Here we propose a meta-model to express web services, the related tool to verify models consistency and an integration of this approach into the OpenAPI Specification. We adopt a shallow verification process to allow rapid prototyping by developers who are not formal methods experts, while still offering design-time guarantees that improve product quality and development efficiency. Web services are defined using parametric components which enable to express and formally verify web service patterns and to safely reuse them in other contexts. We built a tool to check consistency of extended OpenAPI 3.0 models and associated components implementations in order to generate corresponding web services. This allows us to give flexibility and verification support to developers, even in the context of an incremental development, as illustrated by a case study.


Web applications Web services Model-Driven Engineering Formal verification Code generation OpenAPI 3.0 


  1. 1.
    Open API Initiative: OpenAPI Specification (2017).
  2. 2.
    RAML Workgroup: RAML (2016).
  3. 3.
    DeRemer, F., Kron, H.: Programming-in-the large versus programming-in-the-small. In: ACM SIGPLAN Notices, vol. 10, pp. 114–121. ACM (1975)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bernardi, M.L., Cimitile, M., Di Lucca, G., Maria Maggi, F.: M3D: a tool for the model driven development of web applications. In: Proceedings of the Twelfth International Workshop on Web Information and Data Management, pp. 73–80 (2012)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Rocheteau, J., Sferruzza, D.: Reifier: Model-Driven Engineering of Component-Based and Service-Oriented JEE Applications (2016)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Scheidgen, M., Efftinge, S., Marticke, F.: Metamodeling vs metaprogramming: a case study on developing client libraries for REST APIs. In: Wąsowski, A., Lönn, H. (eds.) ECMFA 2016. LNCS, vol. 9764, pp. 205–216. Springer, Cham (2016). Scholar
  7. 7.
    Sferruzza, D.: Safe Web Services Generator (2017).
  8. 8.
    Sferruzza, D., Rocheteau, J., Attiogbé, C., Lanoix, A.: A Model-Driven Method for Fast Building Consistent Web Services in Practice (2018)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bernardi, M.L., Cimitile, M., Maggi, F.M.: Automated development of constraint-driven web applications. In: Proceedings of the 31st Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, pp. 1196–1203. ACM (2016)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fu, X., Bultan, T., Su, J.: Analysis of interacting BPEL web services. In: Proceedings of the 13th International World Wide Web Conference. Citeseer (2004)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gronmo, R., Skogan, D., Solheim, I., Oldevik, J.: Model-driven web services development. In: e-Technology, e-Commerce and e-Service, pp. 42–45. IEEE (2004)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    van der Aalst, W.M.P., Pesic, M., Schonenberg, H.: Declarative workflows: balancing between flexibility and support. Comp. Sci. Res. Dev. 23, 99–113 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cao, H., Falleri, J.-R., Blanc, X.: Automated generation of REST API specification from plain HTML documentation. In: Maximilien, M., Vallecillo, A., Wang, J., Oriol, M. (eds.) ICSOC 2017. LNCS, vol. 10601, pp. 453–461. Springer, Cham (2017). Scholar
  14. 14.
    Cremaschi, M., De Paoli, F.: Toward automatic semantic API descriptions to support services composition. In: De Paoli, F., Schulte, S., Broch Johnsen, E. (eds.) ESOCC 2017. LNCS, vol. 10465, pp. 159–167. Springer, Cham (2017). Scholar
  15. 15.
    Tsouroplis, R., Petychakis, M., Alvertis, I., Biliri, E., Askounis, D.: Community-based API builder to manage APIs and their connections with Cloud-based Services. In: CAiSE Forum, pp. 17–23 (2015)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Schwichtenberg, S., Gerth, C., Engels, G.: From open API to semantic specifications and code adapters. In: 2017 IEEE International Conference on Web Services (ICWS), pp. 484–491. IEEE (2017)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Willighagen, E., Mélius, J.: Automatic OpenAPI to Conversion (2017)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Pugaczewski, J., Cummings, T., Hunter, D., Michalik, B.: Software engineering methodology for development of APIs for network management using the MEF LSO framework. IEEE Commun. Stand. Mag. 1(1), 92–96 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    SmartBear Software: Swagger Code Generator (2018).
  20. 20.
    Wadler, P.: The essence of functional programming. In: Proceedings of the 19th ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages, pp. 1–14. ACM (1992)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    SmartBear Software: Swagger Editor (2018).
  22. 22.
    SmartBear Software: Swagger UI (2018).
  23. 23.
    Apiary: Dredd (2017).
  24. 24.
    van der Lee, M.: PHPSwaggerGen (2017).
  25. 25.
  26. 26.
    Lopes, P., Guardiani, F.: Slush-vertx (2017).
  27. 27.
    Sferruzza, D.: Specification of SWSG extensions for OpenAPI (2018).
  28. 28.
    Internet Engineering Task Force: JSON Schema: A Media Type for Describing JSON Documents (2016).
  29. 29.
    The PHP Group: PHP (2016).
  30. 30.
    Otwel, T.: Laravel (2016).

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Sferruzza
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Jérôme Rocheteau
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christian Attiogbé
    • 1
  • Arnaud Lanoix
    • 1
  1. 1.LS2N - UMR CNRS 6004Nantes Cedex 3France
  2. 2.ICAMCarquefouFrance
  3. 3.Startup PalaceNantesFrance

Personalised recommendations