Cross-cutting concern

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In aspect-oriented software development, cross-cutting concerns are aspects of a program that affect other concerns. These concerns often cannot be cleanly decomposed from the rest of the system in both the design and implementation, and can result in either scattering (code duplication), tangling (significant dependencies between systems), or both.

For instance, if writing an application for handling medical records, the indexing of such records is a core concern, while logging a history of changes to the record database or user database, or an authentication system, would be cross-cutting concerns since they interact with more parts of the program.

Background

Cross-cutting concerns are parts of a program that rely on or must affect many other parts of the system. They form the basis for the development of aspects.[1] Such cross-cutting concerns do not fit cleanly into object-oriented programming or procedural programming.[2]

Cross-cutting concerns can be directly responsible for tangling, or system inter-dependencies, within a program. Because procedural and functional language constructs consist entirely of procedure calling, there is no semantic through which two goals (the capability to be implemented and the related cross-cutting concern) can be addressed simultaneously.[3] As a result, the code addressing the cross-cutting concern must be scattered, or duplicated, across the various related locations, resulting in a loss of modularity.[2]

Aspect-oriented programming aims to encapsulate cross-cutting concerns into aspects to retain modularity. This allows for the clean isolation and reuse of code addressing the cross-cutting concern.[4] By basing designs on cross-cutting concerns, software engineering benefits can include modularity and simplified maintenance.[5]

Examples

Examples of concerns that tend to be cross-cutting include:

See also

References

  1. ^ U.S. Patent 6467086, p.4
  2. ^ a b Kiczales, p.1
  3. ^ Kiczales, p.6
  4. ^ Kiczales, p.2
  5. ^ Li, p.1

Bibliography

  • Kiczales, Gregor; Lamping, John; Mendhekar, Anurag; Maeda; Lopes, Cristina; Longtier, Jean-Marc; Irwin (1997). "Aspect-Oriented Programming". Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming (ECOOP 1997). Jyväskylä, Finland: 220–242.  |first5= missing |last5= in Authors list (help)
  • US patent 6467086, Kiczales et. al, "Aspect-oriented programming", issued 2002-10-15 
  • Li, Harry; Krishnamurthi, Shriram; Fisler, Kathi (2002). "Verifying Cross-Cutting Features as Open Systems". ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes. 27 (6): 89–98. doi:10.1145/605466.605481. 
  • Parnas, David L. (December 1972). "On the Criteria To Be Used in Decomposing Systems into Modules". Communications of the ACM. 15 (12): 1053–1058. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.90.8963Freely accessible. doi:10.1145/361598.361623. 
  • Tarr, Peri; Ossher, Harold; Harrison, William; Sutton, Stanley M., Jr. (1999). "N Degrees of Separation: Multi- Dimensional Separation of Concerns". Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Software Engineering. Los Angeles, California, USA: IEEE Computer Society Press: 107–119. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.89.1641Freely accessible. doi:10.1109/ICSE.1999.841000. ISBN 1581130740. 

Further reading

  • Laddad, R. (2003): AspectJ in Action, Practical Aspect-Oriented Programming, Manning Publications Co.

External links