Software drives model-based development -

Software drives model-based development

Telelogic released two software tools-Tau/Architect and Tau/Developer-for designing systems and software. Both tools, which share much of the same functionality, provide environments in which developers can design, test, and verify systems using a model-driven visual notation derived from the unified modeling language (UML).

In theory, the model-driven approach allows developers to construct, test, and analyze their designs before they write any code, rather than writing skeleton code, updating the design, writing the source code, testing it, changing the code based on the results, and so on. The tools include several features designed to facilitate model-driven development. The first is the visual specification based on UML. The tools also allow engineers to visually specify the systems behavior, not just the architecture. Tau/Developer can then take the specifications and generate application code. (Tau/Architect is aimed primarily at systems engineers and doesn't include the code generation feature.) The tools also allow developers to simulate their models so that the models can be tested and verified.

Another aspect of the model driven approach is that, in the segment of the cycle between initial specification and code generation, everyone contributing to the project, from system architect to programmer, will be using the same notation.

This represents a shift from other design languages, such as the first generation of UML, which didn't work as a development cycle lingua franca because it didn't encompass as many phases of the design. Specifically, it didn't have a way to specify an architecture or support component-based design. The Object Management Group (OMG) is currently revising the UML in the form of UML 2.0 in order to make it suitable for large-scale systems development.

While UML 2.0 has not yet been officially ratified, Telelogic is confident that its tools will be compatible with the specification. Here's the company's official statement:

“Telelogic has been involved in the development of UML 2.0 from the beginning and has therefore been able to drive and monitor its progress closely. At this stage, the latest UML 2.0 submission is stable and not expected to change significantly before its ratification by the OMG. Telelogic has therefore decided to deliver the many benefits of UML 2.0 to its customers today…”

Tau/Architect and Tau/Developer are targeted at engineers developing telecom, automotive, and command and control applications.

Out of the box, Tau/Developer supports VxWorks, Win32 and POSIX targets (Solaris, HP-UX, Linux), but other targets can be supported on request through the code generator's generic interface. The code generator is configurable, allowing the user to control how model elements are mapped to operating system resources.

The tools run on Windows and Unix and look identical in both environments.

Individual copies cost $6,095 for Tau/Architect and $11,995 for Tau/Developer. Floating copies cost $10,995 for Architect and $19,995 for Developer. Tau/Developer and Tau/Architect are available now.

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