[August 10, 2000] "Web Modeling Language (WebML) is a notation for specifying complex Web sites at the conceptual level. WebML enables the high-level description of a Web site under distinct dimensions: (1) its data content [structural model], (2) the pages that compose it [composition model], (3) the topology of links between pages [navigation model], (4) the layout and graphic requirements for page rendering [presentation model], (5) and the customization features for one-to-one content delivery [personalization model]. All the concepts of WebML are associated with a graphic notation and a textual XML syntax. WebML specifications are independent of both the client-side language used for delivering the application to users, and of the server-side platform used to bind data to pages, but they can be effectively used to produce a site implementation in a specific technological setting. WebML guarantees a model-driven approach to Web site development, which is a key factor for defining a novel generation of CASE tools for the construction of complex sites, supporting advanced features like multi-device access, personalization, and evolution management."
WebML web site [alt URL]
WebML DTDs. (1) .ZIP archive [cache]; (2) Web Modeling Language (WebML) Document Type Definition; (3) Structure Document Type Definition; (4) Navigation Document Type Definition; (5) Presentation Document Type Definition; (6) Personalization Document Type Definition; (7) Mapping Document Type Definition .
"Modeling data entry and operations in WebML." By Stefano Ceri, Piero Fraternali, Aldo Bongio, and Andrea Maurino. Dipartimento di Elettronica e Informazione, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza L. Da Vinci, 32 - 20133 Milano, Italy. Paper presented at WebDB 2000, Dallas, 2000. "Web Modeling Language (WebML, http://webml.org) is a notation for visually specifying complex Web sites at the conceptual level. All the concepts of WebML are specified both graphically and in XML; in particular, navigation and composition abstractions are based on a restricted number of hypertext components (units) which are assembled into pages and interconnected by links. During implementation, pages and units are automatically translated into server-side scripting templates, which enable the display of data dynamically retrieved from heterogeneous data sources. This paper extends WebML with data entry and operation units, for gathering information from clients and invoking arbitrary operations. Predefined operations are also proposed as built-in primitives for supporting standard updates on the content of the underlying data sources (represented as entities and relationships). This natural extension of WebML permits the visual modeling of Web pages integrating read and write access, an essential aspect of many E-commerce applications (including user profiling and shopping cart management). . . This paper has shown two new Web modeling abstractions, which integrate data entry and operation invocation into WebML, an existing modeling notation for specifying read-only Web sites. These extensions can be orthogonally combined with primitives for composing hypertexts and defining their navigation, thus building on user skills matured in the conceptual specification of read-only Web sites. WebML is currently applied in the re-engineering of a large e-commerce site, where the write access primitives described in this paper are used to specify and implement a shopping cart connected to a legacy application for order confirmation and delivery. WebML read-only primitives are fully implemented in a Web design tool suite called ToriiSoft (http://www.toriisoft.com). The write extensions described in the paper are under implementation and will be available for beta testing outside the W3I3 Project in early Summer 2000. Following the present implementation of WebML, the novel WebML primitives will be automatically translated into multiple rendition languages (including HTML, WML, XML+XSL, and special-purpose languages for TeleText applications) and server side scripting languages (including MicroSoft's Active Server Pages and JavaSoft's Java Server Pages)." [alt URL]
"Web Modeling Language (WebML): A Modeling Language for Designing Web Sites." By Stefano Ceri, Piero Fraternali, and Aldo Bongio (Dipartimento di Elettronica e Informazione, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza L. da Vinci, 32 - 20133 Milano, Italy). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org [email@example.com]. Paper presented at the Ninth International World Wide Web Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 15-19 May 2000. Also published in Computer Networks Volume 33, Numbers 1-6 (June 2000), pages 137-157. "Designing and maintaining Web applications is one of the major challenges for the software industry of the year 2000. In this paper we present Web Modeling Language (WebML), a notation for specifying complex Web sites at the conceptual level. WebML enables the high-level description of a Web site under distinct orthogonal dimensions: its data content (structural model), the pages that compose it (composition model), the topology of links between pages (navigation model), the layout and graphic requirements for page rendering (presentation model), and the customization features for one-to-one content delivery (personalization model). All the concepts of WebML are associated with a graphic notation and a textual XML syntax. WebML specifications are independent of both the client-side language used for delivering the application to users, and of the server-side platform used to bind data to pages, but they can be effectively used to produce a site implementation in a specific technological setting. WebML guarantees a model-driven approach to Web site development, which is a key factor for defining a novel generation of CASE tools for the construction of complex sites, supporting advanced features like multi-device access, personalization, and evolution management. The WebML language and its accompanying design method are fully implemented in a pre-competitive Web design tool suite, called ToriiSoft. . . With respect to previous proposals, WebML: (1) stresses the definition of orthogonal navigation and composition primitives, which the designer can arbitrarily compose to model complex requirements; (2) includes an explicit notion of site view, whereby the same information can be structured in different ways to meet the interests of different user groups or to obtain a granularity optimized for users approaching the site with different access devices; 3) covers advanced aspects of Web site modeling, including presentation, user modeling, and personalization. WebML is the backbone of Toriisoft, an environment for the computer-aided design of Web sites currently in an advanced development state. In particular, the Toriisoft tool suite comprises Site Designer, for editing the WebML specifications of the structural, hypertext, and personalization models; Presentation Designer, for visually defining presentation style sheets; Site Manager, for site administration and evolution. The architecture is completed by a Template Generator, which transforms WebML specifications into Microsoft's Active Server Page (ASP) templates running on top of relational DBMSs for data storage. Code generation is based on standard XML technology (XSL) and therefore Toriisoft can be easily extended to support template generation in more than one markup language and for multiple server-side scripting engines. Work is ongoing on the translation of WebML specifications into WML-based ASP templates, thereby providing evidence that the model-driven approach of WebML is particularly effective in supporting multi-device Web sites."
"Web Modeling Language (WebML): A modeling language for designing Web sites." By Stefano Ceri, Piero Fraternali, and Aldo Bongio. WWW9, Amsterdam, May 2000. [alt URL]
Examples - Commercial sites modeled with WebML