Many model-driven engineering (MDE) approaches have been proposed in recent studies. They claim to improve software quality and productivity by raising the abstraction level at which developers work. However, they often fall short of what was expected in terms of productivity, profitability, and Return on Investment in real-world scenarios. This article proposes BRCode, which is an interpretive MDE approach for fast-changing enterprise applications. A case study that involves the development of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system enabled data collection based on 34 realistic scenarios in a Brazilian company. This evaluation compared BRCode with a generative MDE (genMDE) approach. Our results show that (1) genMDE required 93.75% more effort; and (2) genMDE and BRCode led to financial gains in 48% and 70% of the cases, respectively. On average, genMDE led to financial losses in most cases, while BRCode roughly tripled financial gains; (3) BRCode had an ROI of 1.54, compared to 0.07 for genMDE, which represents a difference of 93.37%. The results were encouraging and show the potential for using BRCode to support software production companies in the turbulent business environment.

Computers in Industry