Taking the Lead
An Ada Joint Program Office
Progress Report


Ada: A True Success Story
The Game Plan
Spreading the Word
Supporting the User
Bridging the Gap
Laying the Foundation

Ada: A True Success Story

Systems developers throughout the world count on Ada when they want to build cost-effective, reliable, portable, and maintainable systems. The variety of Ada systems in use proves that Ada is the language of choice.

Ada: First in flight

Ada: Bank on it

Ada: In Medicine
  • High-precision analytical systems developed in Ada are utilized by hospitals and labs to perform in-vitro diagnostics.

  • Ada applications aid researchers in determining the compatibility of organs for transplant candidates.

    Users want more, better, faster

    Ada will continue to respond to the ever changing demands of the marketplace. Now, more than ever, users are demanding immediate access to accurate, widely distributed data, 24-hours a day. Software developers must deliver reliable systems that can be easily modified to meet increasing user demands.

    In the software development world, the only constant is change. To keep pace with technological changes, Ada must support emerging software engineering concepts, object-oriented technology, distributed processing, real-time systems, and safety-critical systems.

    The next version of Ada, for use in fiscal year (FY) 95, was designed to satisfy all these requirements. The Ada Joint Program Office (AJPO) has accelerated development for the support environments for the Ada language revision to ensure that the next version will become the language of choice for all software engineers.

    The AJPO: Providing Leadership

    Visionary leadership, a changing marketplace, and a new guiding organization-- these were part of the Ada program's game plan at the onset of FY94. When the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) took responsibility for the Ada program in the last quarter of FY93, the primary goal was to revitalize Ada to encourage broad-based use by academia, commercial firms, and the Department of Defense.

    DISA knew that in order to be successful in the 90s and beyond, the promises for the new version of Ada had to be satisfied. High quality tools and environments needed to be readily available to software engineers. Ada would be embraced by the commercial sector-- recognizing that Ada's inherent technical strengths would prove to be a competitive advantage_ only if high quality Ada products were provided. DISA charged its Ada Joint Program Office (AJPO) to make Ada the language of choice for academic, commercial, and defense applications.

    To accomplish this goal, the AJPO established the following four primary objectives:

    The primary strategies employed to achieve these goals are:

    This progress report details the AJPO's FY94 successes in fulfilling its goal, achieving its objectives, and implementing its strategies.

    Ada: A True Success Story Spreading the Word Supporting the User Bridging the Gap Laying the Foundation

    The Game Plan

    The AJPO's first step in revitalizing Ada was to solicit input from Ada stakeholders. Representatives from academia, industry, and government assembled at the Ada Dual-Use Workshop and made recommendations to the AJPO to make Ada more attractive to system developers.

    Based upon their recommendations, the AJPO devised a five-pronged thrust to revitalize the Ada Program. This approach formed the basis of the Ada Dual-Use Program Plan which the AJPO released to the public in 1994.

    Increase Marketing

    Through marketing research we learned that Ada is the best kept secret among software developers. At the workshop we heard Ada is technically sound, but potential developers had a negative perception.

    The AJPO took aggressive action to promote Ada in 1994 by sponsoring marketing research, a print advertising campaign, and carrying the Ada banner to computer science conferences and trade shows.

    Provide Incentives and Support To successfully penetrate target markets, we found that we must provide software developers with the high quality tools they need to develop Ada systems.

    The AJPO developed plans that identified what the user community needed and when they needed it, and began taking action to ensure that necessary products would be available when Ada 9X is launched in 1995.

    Form Partnerships

    We were urged to enter into partnerships with academia, industry, and defense organizations to stimulate widespread adoption of Ada.

    The AJPO is providing incentives to industry to form partnerships to develop needed products to support the Ada technology.

    Reinforce Commitment

    It was suggested that we continuously confirm our commitment to Ada so that doubters would finally get the message that DoD is serious about the Ada mandate.

    The AJPO's new education campaign is aimed at ensuring that Program Managers, Program Executive Officers, and Contracting Officers know that a DoD policy mandates the use of Ada and that violators will suffer the consequences.

    Continue Current AJPO Activities

    We were told to accelerate our Ada 9X efforts so that compilers and tools would be available when Ada 9X was released.

    We realigned our efforts to ensure that Ada 9X support would be available when needed. The compiler validation test suite is being finalized, an Ada Adoption Handbook is now available, and bindings and tools are in development.

    Ada: A True Success Story The Game Plan Supporting the User Bridging the Gap Laying the Foundation

    Spreading the Word

    The Ada Joint Program Office (AJPO) has taken aggressive action to spread the word that Ada represents a viable solution to today's software engineering challenges. Three major AJPO-sponsored programs are communicating hard data on Ada successes to the public at large.

    Ada Advertising Campaign

    In cooperation with industry, the AJPO has placed full-page color advertisements for Ada in popular journals. The goal of these ads is to reintroduce Ada to decision-makers in the high-reliability and safety- critical marketplaces. These ads have generated several hundred inquires from users within the automotive, financial services, medical, and process control industries.

    Ada Outreach Initiative

    The AJPO has also initiated an outreach program to spread the Ada message to increase usage in academia and industry. By showing the Ada flag at big name computer trade shows such as COMDEX, FOSE, Software Development, and before audiences throughout the world, the AJPO is working hard to ensure that Ada becomes a household world in the software development community.

    Ada Information Clearinghouse

    To ensure that users have the right information when they need it, the AJPO sponsors the AdaIC to be the "official source for Ada information." If you are interested in Ada, use the AdaIC's on-line information resources or call the AdaIC hotline to get answers to Ada questions on a variety of topics, including bindings, compilers, and education.

    The AdaIC quarterly newsletter, sent to 16,000 subscribers throughout the world, provides news about successes with the language.

    The AJPO realizes that just having a good product isn't enough. We also realize that we need to spread the word that "Ada represents a viable solution to tomorrow's problems today." We believe that we have started to make inroads.

    Ada: A True Success Story The Game Plan Spreading the Word Bridging the Gap Laying the Foundation

    Supporting the User

    To stimulate increased use of Ada within both the defense and commercial communities, the AJPO has accelerated bringing Ada 9X products to market.

    Key elements of the planned April 1995 product launch for Ada 9X and associated accomplishments include:

    Ada 9X Standardization

    Ada 9X incorporates hundreds of user suggestions. However, this was done in such a manner that existing applications written in Ada 83 are readily upwardly compatible to Ada 9X. Approval of the Ada 9X standard by the International Standardization Organization (ISO) was received in November 1994.

    Issuance of an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard and a Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) are expected in March 1995.

    Ada 9X Launch Readiness

    Tests and test scripts for the Ada Compiler Validation Capability (ACVC) and Ada Compiler Evaluation System (ACES) are being updated to be compatible with the new standard. These test suites will be finalized, baselined and distributed to the five Ada Validation Facilities by the Ada Maintenance Organization so that these sites are ready to validate Ada compilers on a cost reimbursable basis in spring 1995.

    Ada 9X Bindings and Tools

    Just having Ada 9X compilers is not enough. Based upon our experiences with Ada 83, a wide range of bindings and tools will be available to facilitate widespread Ada 9X adoption. The AJPO has developed plans and initiated activities to ensure that a minimum number of necessary bindings and tools are available to support the Ada 9X launch. Bindings for SQL, POSIX and Motif, and support for AdaSAGE will be available.

    Ada 9X Transition Support

    A variety of handbooks and planning aids have been developed to support projects transitioning from Ada 83 or other languages to Ada 9X. An Ada 9X Adoption Handbook has been published which addresses the issues managers face and an Ada 9X Transition Plan has been produced to guide the transition effort. An update to the popular Ada Quality and Style guide is in progress along with several other technical documents that provide insight and support technical personnel.

    Ada 9X Technology Insertion Program

    Mentoring, training and consulting support is being provided by the AJPO to those seeking help inserting Ada 9X. This support ranges from answering questions to reviewing solicitations to our partners program.

    Making Ada 9X available as quickly as possible will become one of the keys that will unlock the door to success of the AJPO's Dual-Use strategy.

    Ada: A True Success Story The Game Plan Spreading the Word Supporting the User Laying the Foundation

    Bridging the Gap

    The Ada Joint Program Office (AJPO) has entered into partnerships to stimulate adoption of Ada within the defense, academic, industrial, and research communities.

    Some of the partnerships formed during the past year and our associated accomplishments include:

    Defense Partners

    The AJPO has entered into partnerships with several major DoD programs to accelerate development of Ada 9X tools and compilers through early usage (before the standard is approved). The AJPO provides transition support, while the projects fund software development. The projects include: Common Applications Support System (CASS), Joint Advanced Strike Technology (JAST) program, and two Global Command and Control System (GCCS) applications.

    Academic Partners

    The AJPO and the U.S. Air Force have entered into a partnership to convert the Department of Astronautics course of instruction at the Air Force Academy from Fortran to Ada over the next two years. This is a significant partnership because it makes Ada the language of choice in more than just the computer science program at the academy.

    Industrial Partners

    The AJPO has entered into partnerships with industry via its Ada Technology Insertion Program, and is investigating partnerships with industry via the Cooperative Research and Development Act (CRADA). The intent is for the Department to assume the role of investment broker to stimulate creation of needed bindings and tools.

    Research Partners

    The AJPO and the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) entered into a partnership to develop a persistent binding between Ada 9X and an object-oriented database. This is an important partnership because it puts Ada right in the middle of a major research initiative. As part of the partnership, several state-of-the-art bindings will be developed and made available to the private and public sectors via DoD reuse libraries. Partnerships with other government agencies are also being pursued.

    Ada: A True Success Story The Game Plan Spreading the Word Supporting the User Bridging the Gap

    Laying the Foundation

    Progress has been made, and we plan much more to make Ada the language of choice within government, industry, and academia.

    These are exciting times for Ada, and opportunities are boundless. The Dual-Use initiative has breathed new life into the program and stimulated new interest. A lot of activity is ongoing, and there have been notable successes during the past year:

    The Ada Dual-Use Program Plan was released to take Ada to the next step, into the commercial marketplace.

    The Navy won a significant award with an Ada system at Object World for the best object-oriented solution developed with a non-object-oriented language.

    The Department of Energy won an award from Government Computer News for providing significant support to the Department of Defense via AdaSAGE.

    Boeing rolled out their new aircraft and announced to the world that the 777 avionics were programmed in Ada.

    Academic teaching of Ada in undergraduate curricula increased by 25 percent.

    Vendors responded by accelerating Ada 9X support products.

    The first Ada 9X compatible production compilers were released by Alsys and Tartan.

    Interest in Ada was high at non-traditional trade shows with groups such as educators at the Computer Science Conference and commercial firms at Comdex.

    There is a lot more to do, and the AJPO needs your help and support to realize the goal of an unequivocal Ada success!.

    Your input is encouraged and welcome, as are your requests for information. If you want to reach the AJPO or the AdaIC, please contact us at the following:

    Phone: 1-800-Ada-IC11 (232-4211)
    email: adainfo@sw-eng.falls-church.va.us
    P.O. Box 1866
    Falls Church, Virginia 22041