Model-Driven Design

Tightly relating the code to an underlying model gives the code meaning and makes the model relevant.

If the design, or some central part of it, does not map to the domain model, that model is of little value, and the correctness of the software is suspect. At the same time, complex mappings between models and design functions are difficult to understand and, in practice, impossible to maintain as the design changes. A deadly divide opens between analysis and design so that insight gained in each of those activities does not feed into the other.


Design a portion of the software system to reflect the domain model in a very literal way, so that mapping is obvious. Revisit the model and modify it to be implemented more naturally in software, even as you seek to make it reflect deeper insight into the domain. Demand a single model that serves both purposes well, in addition to supporting a fluent ubiquitous language.

Draw from the model the terminology used in the design and the basic assignment of responsibilities. The code becomes an expression of the model, so a change to the code may be a change to the model. Its effect must ripple through the rest of the project's activities accordingly.

To tie the implementation slavishly to a model usually requires software development tools and languages that support a modeling paradigm, such as object-oriented programming.