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Create Your Own...

If you are an intermediate JavaScript developer it is easy to define your own code generation target.

Metamodel Mapping

Your first task is to ensure you have a good understanding of the Concerto metamodel, as your will need to map all the elements of the Concerto metamodel to elements in your target language's metamodel.

For example, here is the mapping from the Concerto metamodel to the Go Lang metamodel:

enumtype {NAME} int
conceptstructConcerto super type is embedded
fieldstruct fieldSet json: for serialization
enum valuestruct fieldSet iota
scalarstruct fieldUnbox the scalar to a field
relationshippointer to type
primitives(see below)
integer domainignored
long domainignored
double domainignored
string regexignored

Depending on your target language's metamodel creating this mapping may be trivial or challenging!

Escaping Identifiers

Concerto has syntactic rules for valid identifiers for types, properties, namespaces etc. You will have to ensure that you create valid identifiers in your target language. For example, the Go code generator converts Concerto namespaces containing . to Go package names containing _.

* Converts a Concerto namespace to a Go package name.
* See:
* @param {string} namespace - the concerto type
* @return {string} the corresponding package name in Go Lang
* @private
toGoPackageName(namespace) {
return namespace.replace(/@/g, '_').replace(/\./g, '_');

Primitive Type Mapping

You will also have to map Concerto's primitive types to your target language type system. The Concerto primitive types are:

  • DateTime
  • Boolean
  • String
  • Double
  • Long
  • Integer

For example, for Go, the mapping from Concerto primitives to Go types is as follows:


Implemented via a utility method on the code generator class:

toGoType(type) {
switch(type) {
case 'DateTime':
return 'time.Time';
case 'Boolean':
return 'bool';
case 'String':
return 'string';
case 'Double':
return 'float64';
case 'Long':
return 'int64';
case 'Integer':
return 'int32';
return type;

Code Generation

Now comes the easy part, actual code generation!

Code Generation Visitor

The @accordproject/concerto-tools package contains the code generators, implements as JavaScript classes using the visitor pattern.

The code generator class for Go is available here.

We recommend that you duplicate an existing code generator class for a target language that is similar to the one you are working on. You may find that there are useful functions or patterns that you can modify.

Your code generator must implement a visit method taking two arguments: the thing being visited (an instance of a concept from the Concerto metamodel) and a parameters object containing code generation configuration options.

The visit method typically delegates to internal methods that handle different elements of the Concerto metamodel:

visit(thing, parameters) {
if (thing.isModelManager?.()) {
return this.visitModelManager(thing, parameters);
} else if (thing.isModelFile?.()) {
return this.visitModelFile(thing, parameters);
} else if (thing.isEnum?.()) {
return this.visitEnumDeclaration(thing, parameters);
} else if (thing.isClassDeclaration?.()) {
return this.visitClassDeclaration(thing, parameters);
} else if (thing.isTypeScalar?.()) {
return this.visitField(thing.getScalarField(), parameters);
} else if (thing.isField?.()) {
return this.visitField(thing, parameters);
} else if(thing.isRelationship?.()) {
return this.visitRelationship(thing, parameters);
} else if (thing.isEnumValue?.()) {
return this.visitEnumValueDeclaration(thing, parameters);
} else if (thing.isScalarDeclaration?.()) {
} else {
throw new Error('Unrecognised type: ' + typeof thing + ', value: ' + util.inspect(thing, { showHidden: false, depth: 1 }));

Many of the internal methods will simply call accept on a model element, passing this — so that the accept method calls back into the visit method on this code generator class (so called, double-dispatch).

For example, when we visit a ModelManager we want to visit each of the ModelFiles in the ModelManager:

visitModelManager(modelManager, parameters) {
modelManager.getModelFiles(true).forEach((modelFile) => {
return null;

Outputing Code

The parameters object contains a fileWriter object, an instance of FileWriter from @accordproject/concerto-util, used to write lines of generated code. Refer to the class for details. Note that there is also an InMemoryWriter which implements the same protocol but holds all contents in-memory.

The first argument to the fileWriter.writeLine method is the number of tab stops to indent the line.

    visitField(field, parameters) {
let array = '';

if(field.isArray()) {
array = '[]';

// we export all fields by capitalizing them
// we strip $ as it is not legal in Go
const name = field.getName().startsWith('$') ? field.getName().substring(1) : field.getName();
parameters.fileWriter.writeLine(1, ModelUtil.capitalizeFirstLetter(name) + ' ' + array + this.toGoType(field.getType()) + ' `json:"' + field.getName() + '"`' );
return null;

JSON Serialization

Ideally the code that you generate can deserialize JSON documents created by the Concerto runtime (the JavaScript Serializer). This is not a hard-and-fast requirement however, and is not applicable to all target languages.


It is important to fully test your code generator. You don't want it to crash when it encounters an element of the Concerto metamodel that you have not tested!

The existing code generators use a battery of unit tests to ensure 100% code coverage and use a set of test Concerto models. The HR model is a useful one to use during development, and it is used by the existing unit tests. It uses many (though not all!)) of the features of the Concerto metamodel.

Expose via Concerto CLI

To allow your code generator to be used with the Concerto CLI your code generator must assigned a target name and added to the CodeGen module.

Contribute Back!

We would encourage you to create a pull-request with your new Code Generator, unit tests, along with a page for this documentation to show people how to use it, and to document any limitations.

Thank you in advance!