Ada Information Clearinghouse
News and Events ^
Press Releases ^
Home ^

Ann Brandon
(802) 728-9947

Ada Claims Unique Advantage: First International Standard of Testing Compilers

BURLINGTON, Mass.--The Ada Resource Association (ARA) announced today that Ada is the first programming language to standardize a process for testing compilers' implementation. The standard, ISO/IEC-18009;1999, prescribes a path of testing that a compiler must pass in order to be verified as "conforming to standard Ada."

Through a process of testing and validating compilers' implementations, the Ada community has overseen the language's integrity since its inception. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) now recognizes that process.

Tucker Taft, president of the ARA, said that "Ada is leading the way for other languages to protect their code from obsolescence," with the standardized process of testing compilers. "To distinguish compilers as implementing a language's international standard vs. a dialect is crucial to the maintenance and portability of code, not to mention its safety."

Veteran users of the Ada language will not notice a dramatic change between the unofficial and official paths of testing. The ARA has worked with other community organizations to streamline the bureaucracy, and ISO standards use a different vocabulary. What the community has always called the "validation" of Ada compilers is now the "conformity assessment." In official ISO terminology, compilers are considered to be "assessed as conforming to the Ada standard."

Ada is, in fact, an international standard itself, and has been since 1983. The newest Ada language standard is Ada95.

The Ada Compiler Assessment Authority (ACAA) manages the testing and certification process. Randy Brukardt is the ACAA's manager and Technical Agent.

The ARA is an organization of Ada tools and software development vendors, including Ada Core Technologies, Aonix, Averstar, DDC-I, Green Hills Software, OC Systems, and Rational Software (Nasdaq: RATL). Together the companies represent over ninety percent of the Ada tools market.

The ARA's mission is to encourage managers to "Choose Ada, The Most Trusted Name in Software(TM)." According to Taft, "The cornerstone to defending that trust is the ARA's commitment to uphold the Ada standard. The new ISO standard for testing Ada compilers makes our commitment truly concrete."

* * *

In the January/February 2000 IEEE Journal, an article appeared, "An ISO Standard Guards the Ada Hen House," which describes the testing process and its history. To read the article, please see

A full list of ARA certified compilers can be found at

For more information on the Ada programming language, development tools, and community, please see:

For more information on the ARA and its members, please visit the ARA Web site at

Still have questions? Please email them to Ann Brandon at or Randy Brukardt at

# # #