A couple of recent studies assessed the state of model-driven engineering (MDE) and the UML in practice. Hutchinson et al. (ICSE2011) noticed for example that a lot of MDE success is actually hidden and that MDE adoption is often rather driven by evangelists than hard business considerations. Petre (ICSE2013) focused on the UML and found for 50 software professionals that 70 percent do not use the UML. Unfortunately, most of the studies known to me have some methodical flaws, such as improper selection of the sample population. Maybe it is time for a systematic review and comparison of all the available empirical studies and approaches in industry?
ABB uses model-driven approaches in various areas, e.g., architecture documentation, code generation for PLC software, simulation, and even testing. Also, ABB Corporate Research has quite some history of experimenting with model-driven techniques:
- platform-independent model and code generation with ArcStyler, based on the MDA initiative (Interactive Objects success story, 2002)
- UML models to describe higher-level design for safety critical embedded systems (Empirical Software Engineering Journal, 2006)
- work on the OPC UA information model (Springer Book, 2009)
- model-based testing of embedded systems (EU-Project D-MINT, 2010)
- program transformation with srcML (ICSM, 2011)
- reliability prediction based on Markov Models (ISSRE, 2010)
- performance prediction for an industrial control system, based on the Eclipse modeling framework (ICSE, EU-Project Q-ImPrESS, 2011)
- DSL for constructing OPC UA Queries and Event Filters (ECMFA, 2012)
- model transformations for analytical purposes (MASCOTS 2012, ICPE 2013)
- model-based design space exploration for distributed systems (ICPE, 2012)
Current research in this area concerns for example architecture decision modeling (collaboration project with University of Groningen) or using IEC 61499 for modeling control logic.