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"This is a seminal work that provides the first comprehensive framework for component-based development ... Other leading methods, particularly those that have evolved gradually from pure object-oriented backgrounds have  sometimes failed to recognize the fundamental nature of components, relegating the componentization aspects to matters of packaging. This book details important new concepts that are likely to become de facto approaches in the future..."

-- The Butler Group, 1999.

Quick starts:
concept map
method overview (zipped .ppt)
"light" process

What is Catalysis

Catalysis is a next generation approach for the systematic business-driven development of component-based systems, based on the industry standard Unified Modeling Language (UML). In development and application since 1992, it has been used by Fortune 500 companies in fields including finance, telecommunication, insurance, manufacturing, embedded systems, process control, flight simulation, travel and transportation, and systems management. Catalysis is a non-proprietary method, in use in many projects, and supported by tools and related products and services from several companies. The original developers of Catalysis are Desmond D'Souza and Alan Wills, who co-authored the first Catalysis book.

The Name

An acceleration of the rate of a process or reaction, brought about by a catalyst, usually present in small managed quantities and unaffected at the end of the reaction. A catalyst permits reactions or processes to take place more effectively or under milder conditions than would otherwise be possible.

In the context of system modeling and software development, the name describes an approach which makes the development process more repeatable, scalable, and effective. Catalysis is a service mark of ICON Computing, a wholly owned subsidiary of Platinum Technology.


Catalysis defines a systematic and flexible process to:

Help business users and software developers share a clear and precise vocabulary
Combine different business or component views into an integrated whole
Design and specify component interfaces so they plug together readily
Implement components by systematic assembly of other components
Develop greenfield applications using object and component technologies
Integrate heterogeneous and legacy components or systems into new development
Build high-confidence models and designs of business and technical components
Reuse domain models, architectures, interfaces, code, and process based on patterns
Improve business processes with clear traceability to application development

What this site is about

This site is a shared resource for information related to Catalysis, providing examples, discussion forums, conference tutorials and seminars, papers and presentations about the method, a light-weight Catalysis process, design patterns and architectural frameworks, summary and reference experiences from projects that are using Catalysis, and help with both commercial and academic adoption of the method.


We welcome your suggestions on making this site more useful to you. We also welcome any content contributions to this web site, including examples, technical comments, papers, discussion group contributions, pointers to Catalysis-related activities, events, or news, etc.


Email suggestions to All contents copyrighted 1998.