AdaIC News Fall 1996

     Ada & Reuse
SMART Initiative
Reuse Trade Association Forming

| The challenge | SMART Initiative's objective | The business model |
| Steering Council, Pilot Trade Association | For further information |

"...the SMART Initiative is to define and implement a business model that describes how a software architecture-centric approach can be effectively implemented."

The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) Software Engineering Directorate (SED), Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, has initiated an effort focused on solving the business issues associated with architectures and software reuse. Between June 1995 and January of this year, several Software Reuse Roundtable discussions with Industry representatives were held to discuss business issues and alternative business models to describe how architecture technology can be adopted in the marketplace. The Software Market-driven Architecture Trade Association (SMART) Initiative resulted from these sessions. Ø

The challenge

Much has been published on the benefits associated with common software architectures and software reuse, including decreased development costs and time, increased productivity and quality, reduced risk, etc. To date however, Department of Defense (DoD) and Industry initiatives have not been effective in realizing all of these benefits.

The lack of effectiveness is primarily due to two issues. The first of these issues has been the historic lack of focus on software architectures as the key technical "enabler" to realizing such benefits. Only lately has the importance of software architectures begun to be recognized.

The second issue has been the inadequate attention paid to the business issues associated with the development and adoption of common software architectures and reusable software. These business issues include ownership, licensing benefits and profitability (write once, license many), liability issues, market size, market share, etc. Ø

SMART Initiative's objective

The objective of the SMART Initiative is to define and implement a business model that describes how a software architecture-centric approach can be effectively implemented within the DoD and the CECOM SED environment, while considering and addressing business and technical issues.

To define and successfully implement the model, the following steps are being taken:

1) Define a business model and resolve the business issues and
barriers associated with implementing the model.
2) Conduct a pilot project that demonstrates the feasibility and
benefits of the business model.
3) Gain widespread adoption of such an approach. Ø

The business model

As mentioned, several Industry Software Reuse Roundtable sessions were held to discuss business issues and business-model alternatives. These initial sessions produced an outline of a business model for implementing an architecture technology. The model can be characterized as follows:

The desired outcome is to improve the cost effectiveness of the application software business.
The focus is to be on application product lines and the development and adoption of architectures for these product lines.
The architectures are to be developed by domain-specific trade associations.
The intent is to incentivize broad Industry participation, both defense and commercial, in the trade associations.
CECOM will require conformance to the architecture in the development of systems and technology demonstrations.

In addition, CECOM will allow software developers to retain the rights to the software implementations developed either under corporate investment or under contract. This should enable SED and its customers to leverage a broader marketplace. Ø

Steering Council, Pilot Trade Association

With the emergence of the SMART Initiative, a SMART Steering Council (presently 22 companies) was established, which is based on the same model as the Software Reuse Roundtable sessions previously held. Members of Industry, previously defined as those who do significant system and software development for CECOM and SED, have been and will continue to be invited to participate. In addition, commercial industry will be invited to participate. The product, therefore, of the SMART Steering Council is the business model and resolution of the associated barriers and issues. The Steering Council does not directly oversee any of the activities of the trade associations.

The first part of the pilot project is the establishment of a trade association for a specific application domain. The SMART Initiative has selected the area of resource management planning/mission planning as the subject of the SMART Pilot Trade Association. The product of the trade association is to be an architecture standard for the selected application domain. The second part of the pilot project is the independent Industry development of software implementations or implementation components that comply with the architectural standard developed by the Pilot Trade Association. The resulting implementations should represent "plug & play" components that become part of the competitive process associated with developing or evolving implementations of the domain functionality. The third part is the specification of the application domain architecture and the solicitation of implementations as part of a future CECOM solicitation.

The final and target goal is the demonstration of the business model through resulting widespread software implementation at multiple levels within the DoD and the commercial community. Ø

For further information

For information on the SMART effort, see their Web site, or contact:

John Willison
tel: 908/532-2342
OR Mike Lombardi
tel: 908/532-2029

The STARS Web Site: A Goldmine for Both Ada and Reuse

| Shifting to a product-line approach | STARS Resources |

"I would suggest browsing through all of the STARS Web pages for an overview understanding of the product-line approach."
                 - Linda Brown, STARS Program Mgr.

For the past several years, software engineers have been able to look to the Software Technology for Adaptable, Reliable Systems (STARS) Program for important, sometimes breakthrough, work on the challenges facing software development today. Sponsored by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), STARS has an impressive record in areas vital to software engineering, Ada, and reuse. Ø

Shifting to a product-line approach

With its three cooperating prime contractors (Boeing, Loral Federal Systems, and Loral Defense Systems-East -- the latter two have recently become part of Lockheed Martin Tactical Defense Systems) and a large number of subcontractors, STARS has focused on accelerating a change in the way software is developed within the Department of Defense (DoD). That change is a shift to a product-line approach/paradigm that is process-driven, domain-specific, reuse-based, and technology-supported.

Now, with a large body of work to its credit, the STARS Program's work for the past year or so has included implementing its planned termination -- and ensuring the widest possible public access to its products. Ø

STARS Resources

The Ada Joint Program Office's (AJPO's) Ada and Reuse Library, for instance, recently received a number of hardcopy documents when the STARS Technology Center closed. More important, however, are the software and key technical documents stored at DARPA's Asset Source for Software Engineering Technology (ASSET).

These are now available to the public at large via the World Wide Web -- no account or other registration needed. The Web site is, and Web browsers such as Mosaic, Netscape, etc., can take you through STARS' impressive resources.

Linda Brown, STARS Program Manager, discussed some of those resources. As a beginning, she pointed out that, from an Ada perspective, the Ada courseware (much of it supported by the Ada Joint Program office -- AJPO) is "one of the more interesting things." ASSET, she said, is "probably the only place you'll find all of that material highlighted and made readily available..."

"From a reuse perspective, there's so much interesting material that I would suggest browsing through all of the STARS Web pages for an overview understanding of the product-line approach -- and then accessing the papers for information on specific topics like reuse, architecture, process, and so forth. Or view the demo project pages and then go to their experience reports for lessons learned."

For architecture issues, she suggested the Software Architecture Home Page, which can be accessed through the Loral Defense Systems-East button on the STARS home page. And she also mentioned a "really nice tutorial on cleanroom".

The scheduled closing of the STARS Program Office was 30 June 1996. However, even with the resources already available via the Web, more will be coming on line as a few remaining STARS efforts finish up and deliver their products to ASSET. Check out the STARS site frequently to keep tabs on what's being added. Ø

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