AdaIC NEWS                                       Fall 1995


The AJPO will soon be in a position to engage in cost-sharing partnership ventures with commercial Ada developers.

Encouraging the commercialization of Ada will continue to be a high priority for the AJPO.

The American software industry would be in a much stronger position if it wholeheartedly adopted the software-engineering principles incorporated in Ada. Similarly, Ada would be in a much stronger position if its development costs were spread over the widest possible community.

Encouraging the development of bindings
Charting a course for tools
For further information
Table 4: Ada 95 Bindings Requirements
Table 5: AJPO Funds Efforts in Components and Tools

The potential of such a win-win situation has been in the background of many decisions at the Ada Joint Program Office (AJPO). Now, that potential is moving into the foreground.

As in past years, the AJPO will continue its indirect support of the commercial Ada marketplace, through assisting development of Ada tools and bindings. (See Table 5 for some of the AJPO's current efforts in components and tools.) Beginning shortly, however, the AJPO will also be in a position to engage in cost-sharing partnership ventures with commercial Ada developers.

The new effort is the Ada Technology Insertion Program-Partnership (ATIP-P). Of most interest, ATIP-P will permit developers to keep commercial rights to products developed under the new program. In fact, that's one of the purposes of the new effort -- to encourage commercial ventures to develop and market Ada products for the widest possible use.

ATIP-P will give the AJPO a major boost in its efforts to encourage a stronger Ada marketplace. But the long-established efforts in the fields of tools and bindings will remain vital as Ada users transition to Ada 95.

Encouraging the development of bindings
Ada applications have to be able to access whatever resources an end user will wish to control -- and this frequently requires Ada bindings to other standards and protocols that control such resources.

The AJPO's bindings report, covered in the previous issue, gives industry a quick sketch of the reasoning behind current and future AJPO investments in bindings.

The AJPO looks for action on two fronts: one to address growth of a self-sustaining bindings marketplace; another to address each major area where current bindings situations can be improved. Some investments will be aimed at encouraging third-party development of bindings for high-demand environments such as distributed computing. Others will be aimed at public-domain bindings to high-demand commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) products. (See Table 4 for a list of bindings requirements that the report projects for the next 3-5 years.)

Charting a course for tools
In a competition based on language capabilities alone, Ada wins hands down. But languages are marketed on the tools, libraries, and features that surround a language -- the programming environment.

The AJPO's draft tools report analyzes the current market and gives guidance for creating tools in the future. Rather than a laundry list of tools and features, it identifies concerns that will apply even when many of the particular features are not on the market yet. In some sense, the report is a preliminary manual for creating Ada tools. It identifies tools and techniques used by successful commercial environments, and establishes a model to which developers can add Ada-specific capabilities.

The report looks at requirements that any tool will have to meet, regardless of its particular features. Support for generally accepted standards is an important factor -- allowing tools to be integrated into a single environment.

Among its particulars, the report notes the need for "visual programming" products (comparable to Visual BASIC and Visual C++) and the need for support for distributed systems.

The report also lists a minimal tool suite (compiler and source-level debugger, visual workspace, embedded workspace, browser, inheritance manager, configuration manager, and metrics manager). But it recognizes that the particular lists of tools and features to be created are dependent on user demand and vendor resources.

For further information
Electronic copies of the reports will be available for downloading from the AdaIC host computer ( on the Internet. Hardcopies may be requested from the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (Douglas Colonel, 208/526-0204; fax: 208/526-8086; e-mail:

Table 5

AJPO funds efforts in components and tools

The AJPO has complemented the work done by compiler vendors and third-party vendors by funding efforts to produce components and tools. (When they are available on the AdaIC host, path names are provided. For further information on accessing the AdaIC's on-line resources, see pages 10-13.)

ASIS/PVLAn initial set of ASIS applications -- semantic components used to view characteristics of Ada programs


ASIS/Execution Time Prediction Generates execution time and bounds

CAPSComputer-Aided Prototyping System -- for real-time software


ADAR Packages for a common approach to decimal arithmetic and Ada -- Decimal Arithmetic Library Tools


GNAT Ada 95 compiler -- GNU Ada translator


AdaSAGEPC- and Unix-based application builder

Conversion from Ada 83 to Ada 95 Report on conversion and reengineering for Ada 83 to Ada 95 migration

Textbook & CompilerIntroductory environment for Ada programmers

GUI generatorWindows GUI generator

Bindings Generator C-to-Ada Binding Generator

Multi-Language Debugger Debugger interfaces to allow for a multi-language environment

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