AdaIC NEWS                                       Fall 1995

supporting the

For the Warfighter, reliable, adaptable software is a necessity, not an ideal

Ada Technology Insertion projects, Practitioner Training, and Early Adopter programs help DoD software developers maximize their gain from Ada.

Ada and software engineering are important in the Department of Defense (DoD), because DoD software holds human lives in the balance. That's a paramount consideration of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). The ultimate test of success is the warfighter and the warfighter's needs -- whether in an actual engagement or in a command center thousands of miles away.


Ada Technology Insertion Program
Assisting Ada 95 Early Adopters
Providing Ada 95 Practitioner Training
Looking Ahead
Table 1: Ada Bindings
Table 2: First Round ATIP Selections for FY95

When the Ada Joint Program Office (AJPO) sponsors enhancements to the language or applications created in Ada, it does so in the light of the needs of the DoD's ultimate end-user, the warfighter. For the warfighter, reliable, adaptable software is a necessity, not an ideal.

Besides those general concerns, the AJPO also acts to provide tools and materials that will be used in fielded software. Sometimes AJPO-assisted efforts produce software -- as in the case of Ada Technology Insertion Program (ATIP) projects. Other AJPO efforts provide resources to make it easier to use Ada -- as in the case of mentoring and training to help Ada 95 Early Adopter projects get up to speed quickly.

Ada Technology Insertion Program -- Building a resource base for DoD Ada users
The AJPO's ATIP effort has been assisting selected DoD projects since 1988; a range of products produced under the program are available over the Internet via the host computer of the AJPO-sponsored Ada Information Clearinghouse (AdaIC); they are also available through DISA's Defense Software Repository System (DSRS). (See
Table 1 for a list of some of the products available on the AdaIC's Internet host.)

This year's projects will address a wide range of needs important in accelerating use of Ada 95. In the first two rounds of fiscal-year 1995 ATIP awards, 15 Ada 95 projects have been selected. (A list is given in Table 2.) Bindings are important in these first two rounds, and development tools also figure significantly.

Working with the Software Executive Officials (SEOs) of the three Services and the major DoD components, the AJPO looked for projects with broad application to the general government and commercial sectors. Emphasis was placed on commercialization, and projects had to address technical risk barriers to adoption of Ada 95 (bindings, tools, and libraries, for instance).

The intent of the ATIP effort is to provide real-world advantages as soon as possible. Products are expected within one year; they will be vendor independent and not based on any proprietary hardware or software. As in the past, assets developed will be made available via the AdaIC Internet host and the DSRS.

Assisting Ada 95 Early Adopters
Ada 95 brings major advantages, but, inevitably, any new technology entails risks. The AJPO's Early Ada 95 Adopter Partnership program is intended to reduce the risks and maximize the benefits for projects moving up to Ada 95.

This is genuinely a partnership. The project teams supply the personnel, hardware, and environment for the project; it is the teams' responsibility to produce the software. The AJPO supplies in-kind support in the form of both formal classroom training and hands-on mentoring.

A number of examples of the Early Adopter process were given in the previous issue of this newsletter. More are underway.

In these partnerships, the benefits work both ways: The projects gain help in reducing risk; the AJPO gains valuable lessons-learned. Ada users throughout the DoD benefit from the experience of early adopters, and real-world feedback helps mature Ada 95 technology.

Providing Ada 95 practitioner training
Obviously, with a new technology, training is vital. The AJPO has sponsored more than 25 Ada 95 courses and seminars for Ada practitioners. Commercial trainers were spurred to meet the need for courses aimed at updating the skills, knowledge, and abilities of Ada programmers who primarily work within government shops. There have also been more than 20 managerial courses.

Last year, about 400 government programmers and managers benefited from such courses. This year, plans are being developed to expand coverage to include Central Design Activities and Integrated Computer-Aided Software Engineering (I-CASE) Environment pilot sites.

Looking ahead
The efforts described above have an obvious impact on DoD Ada users. But the AJPO's other efforts also work to the same end. Computer-science students who receive better educations in Ada and software engineering will be better able to produce the software the warfighter needs. Similarly, the Ada activities of commercial companies will not only distribute development costs, they will also lift the general level of software quality.

AJPO efforts are at work in all these areas.

Table 2:
First two rounds of FY95 ATIP selections

Ada 95 Binding to Distributed Computing Environment (DCE)
Defense Medical Human Resource System (DMHRS) Interface Development
GNAT Ada 95 Targeted Next-Generation Real-Time CASE Toolset
COBOL to Ada 95 Object Abstractor
ASIS subset for Ada 95
Visual Slicer for Automated Restructuring and Parallelization of Ada 95
Visual Class Browser for Ada 95
ASIS-Independent Translator from Ada 83 to Ada 95 Compliance
POSIX/Ada Real-Time Bindings
A Computer Aided Prototyping System for Real-Time Ada 95 Software
Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS)
Model-View-Controller Reengineering to Object Oriented
Software Reengineering Environment (SRE) C++/C Translator to Ada 95
Open Data Base Connectivity (ODBC) Generic Ada Library
Ada 95 Numerical Group Library Bindings
Air Force
Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) Ada 95 Architecture Framework

        Back                    Contents                    Next