TOSCA-based Intent modelling: goal-modelling for infrastructure-as-code

Damian A. Tamburri*, Willem-Jan Van den Heuvel, Chris Lauwers, Paul Lipton, Derek Palma, Matt Rutkowski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


DevOps entails a set of practices that speed up the time needed to rollout software product changes. One such practice is automating deployment and delivery with infrastructure-as-code, i.e., automated scripts that ideally carry out 1-click deployment. Providing effective infrastructure-as-code poses the tricky issue in determining the modelling and information representation paradigm (e.g., Imperative, Declarative, etc.) most compatible with specifying infrastructural code. The OASIS TOSCA standard ("Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications") is the de-facto and de-iure standard language for infrastructure-as-code, and adopts an innovative take called "intent modelling". This paper articulates the foundations of this modelling approach incorporating the most related modelling paradigm, that is, goal-modelling. We elaborate on it with a real but simple industrial sample featuring the TOSCA language.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-172
JournalSics software-Intensive cyber-Physical systems
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • DevOps
  • Infrastructure-as-code
  • Orchestration
  • Microservices
  • Goal-modelling


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