The Ada Resource Association (ARA), the professional trade association engaged in meeting the expanding requirements of the worldwide Ada user community, has begun a program that will standardize how Ada is used and implemented with external services.
The Association has formed the Ada Common Environment (ACE), which will coordinate with Ada compiler and tools vendors to ensure that all Ada implementations support standard external interfaces. The ARA's intention is to build on the new international standard for Ada 95 -- which provides many facilities for integrating multi-language software systems -- with the goal of making Ada the most portable language in software development.
The customer-focused program will enable third party vendors to build more powerful tools and supplemental systems with the assurance that all Ada systems can support them. The new standards will benefit Ada software products by increasing the range of platforms to which applications can be ported. The advantage to end users will be greater portability for their code from compiler to compiler and target to target.
ACE expects to address a wide array of technical issues, with the initial focus to include unifying the connections to CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture), X-Windows/Motif, Win32, C++ interfacing, and POSIX (Portable Operating System Interface).
ACE's technical output will be actual user-level documentation that will enable organizations to move immediately into production. The first such documentation will be issued on September 30, 1996. In some cases, where the technical issues warrant it, the ARA will provide free software to implement the standards and help third party vendors write portable Ada interfaces to their products.
"The Ada language and tool sets have historically been used to produce high quality custom software by offering strong technical advantages over other languages," said Oliver Cole, Chairman of the ARA and President of OC Systems. "The development of this industry consortium positions Ada as the language of choice for commercial product development by providing unparalleled protection for the user with any software that has a long life cycle. It will continue the steady and assured evolution of Ada that has been proven with the existing large investment in Ada based software applications."
"The ARA is right on track with the original intention of the Defense Department's mandate for Ada and the transfer of technology project -- which is to enable the new Ada standard to grow through the investment of marketplace stakeholders," added Cole. "We are at a particularly advantageous point for industry interests to come together in that it is early enough in the Ada 95 life cycle to enable these issues of standardization to take hold in a timely and efficient manner, with minimal economic risk to the existing investments of Ada users. The breadth of the ARA vendor companies will equip us in effectively moving from drawing board to implementation, and in making this a major focus of the ARA's activities."
The Ada Common Environment is comprised of technical representatives from each of the ARA-member companies -- responsible for selling 95% of all Ada compilers and tools. The companies are:
Invitations are being extended to other companies in the world-wide Ada community who are not members of the ARA.
The Ada Resource Association -- a professional trade association -- is actively engaged in meeting the expanding requirements of the worldwide Ada user community. Formed in 1989 as the Ada Software Alliance, its objective is to promote and enhance the use of the Ada language, and associated software engineering technology, in applications and programs that benefit the customer.