AdaIC News
Winter 1996 - 1997

Ada Information Clearinghouse
The Official Source for Ada Information

Vol. XIV, No. 4
ISSN 1064-1505
No Charge

AdaIC Sponsored by the Ada Joint Program Office and operated by IIT Research Institute


In This Issue


NRC Study Recommends New Software Review Process, Changes in Ada Mandate

On November 1, 1996, the National Research Council (NRC) at the National Academy of Science (NAS) released its report Ada and Beyond: Software Policies for the Department of Defense. The report was the work of the NRC’s “Committee on the Past and Present Contexts for the Use of Ada in the Department of Defense”, created by the NRC’s Computer Science and Telecommunications Board to review current language policy in the Department of Defense (DoD), and to examine the role of Ada in DoD software development. The study was requested by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (ASD C3I).

Committee conclusions

The committee concluded that “vigorous support of Ada would benefit warfighting systems, and recommends that the Department of Defense should continue to use and promote Ada in such systems.” However, the committee found “significant problems with the two primary components of the Defense Department’s current strategy for Ada. First, the current programming language policy requires the use of Ada for all new defense software, which the committee finds to be overly broad in scope. Second, the Defense Department’s plan to discontinue investments in both Ada technology and user-community support will weaken the Ada infrastructure, and will work against any requirement to use Ada in the future.” The committee recommended that DoD take the following steps regarding Ada:

1. “Continue to require Ada for its warfighting software and drop the Ada requirement for its other software.”
2. “Provide roughly $15 million per year for Ada infrastructure support, or drop the requirement to use Ada entirely.”
3. “Make programming language decisions in the context of a Software Engineering Plan Review process.”

Rationale

The committee’s rationale for these recommendations was:

1. “In commercially dominated areas, using Ada is generally less cost-effective than using other languages. Requiring Ada’s use in commercially dominated applications would place DOD systems at a competitive disadvantage.
2. “In warfighting applications, Ada’s technical capabilities for building real-time, high-assurance custom software are generally superior to those of other programming languages. DOD’s investments in Ada to date have provided DOD systems with a competitive advantage in these areas.”
3. “The commercial marketplace alone will not sustain a robust Ada infrastructure.”
4. “A relatively modest ($15 million per year) DOD investment at the margin would be sufficient to sustain a robust Ada infrastructure for warfighting applications.”
5. “DOD’s inventory of more than 50 million lines of Ada warfighting software will become a liability without a robust Ada infrastructure.”
6. “DOD’s current Ada waiver process can be effectively replaced by adoption of the commercially established practice of architecture review boards, a process that can also strengthen DOD’s overall software engineering capability.”

Other conclusions

The committee also concluded that “currently available data are insufficient, on their own, to accurately determine the impact of programming language choice on the outcome of defense programs.” Based on “the limitations of available data”, the committee also recommended that DoD “institute a corporate effort to collect software metrics to guide future policy and management decisions”.

Among the environmental factors cited by the committee for changing Ada policies were the shift from custom-made to commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software, and the increased reliance on product-line architectures that enable software assets to be reused across families of applications. The committee concluded that in “warfighting applications areas such as weapon control and electronic warfare, there is little commercial development, and the Defense Department has established a strong community of warfighting software developers whose production factors are oriented to Ada. However, for the numerous defense applications in which the market is dominated by commercial solutions, such as finance and logistics, production factors have been built around programming languages other than Ada, putting solutions at a disadvantage.”

For further information

The release summarizing the report and the slides used in the public presentation can be found on the Ada Information Clearinghouse’s World Wide Web site at http://archive.adaic.com/docs/present/nrc/ Information on obtaining the full report will be available on the NRC’s Web site at http://www2.nas.edu/cstbweb.

For further information, contact:

CSTB, National Research Council;
210 Constitution Avenue, N.W.;
Washington, DC 20418;
Tel: 202/334-2605; Fax: 202/334-2318;
E-mail: ctsb@nas.edu

Ada Joint Program Office — The Phoenix

In the previous newsletter, I discussed the closing of Ada Joint Program Office (AJPO). I explained the rationale and the process by which the office would be closed. Much has happened since I wrote those words — and I am happy to report that the AJPO will not be closing after all! In this newsletter, I will explain what has transpired, and then I will end with a final discussion of some additional items that I think may interest you.

The AJPO remains open

The decision to close the AJPO was predicated upon the view that it had completed its mission, i.e., Ada 95 was an approved international standard, and its infrastructure was in place. This was a reasonable view. However, as part of the closing of the office, much work went into defining exactly what the AJPO did and how it did it. A consequence of this effort was that it became apparent that the AJPO was still needed to support and expand the infrastructure of the Ada effort. This realization caused the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to decide to continue the office in its present form. Consequently, the AJPO will remain open until at least FY99. The budget for FY97 was increased to compensate for the office remaining open the full fiscal year. There will be no closing in June of 1997!

Ramifications

This has had many ramifications. First, the AJPO had handed off its oversight of Ada compiler validation to the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) effective 1 October 1996. This was a planned part of the phase out of the office and occurred on time. However, NIST has since decided to phase out its validation activities for all languages. And since the AJPO will remain open, it seems prudent to keep this capability within the AJPO. As a result, effective with the introduction of the Ada Compiler Validation Capability (ACVC) 2.1 on 1 April 1997, the AJPO will once again assume responsibility and authority for all validations. The Ada Validation Office at the Institute for Defense Analyses has already been funded to continue its role in this effort. Additionally, many of the other transfers of AJPO responsibility mentioned in the previous newsletter have been halted. Those that already occurred have been reversed. The AJPO will continue as before.

The NRC Study

This change of plans was made before the public announcement of the results of the National Research Council (NRC) study of Ada policy. Dr. Barry Boehm headed this group of distinguished experts in studying the Ada policy within the Department of Defense (DoD) on behalf of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for C3I, the Hon. Emmett Paige, Jr. The positive findings of this committee independently supported the decision to keep the AJPO open.

The Boehm study made several key findings. One was that there is no better language for high-assurance (high-reliability) software than Ada. As a result, they have recommended that all warfighting software continue to be written in Ada. Further, enforcement of this requirement should be more rigorous!

On the other hand, systems without a high-reliability requirement (are there any?), specifically information systems, should be written in whatever language is best for the application — meaning that Ada will compete just like any other language for this section of the market, and the selection will be made on the basis of criteria decided by the program manager.

Another finding of the Boehm study was that the Ada infrastructure needs to be supported by the DoD since the commercial share of the market for Ada is limited. The committee recommended that the DoD provide $15 million per year to support this infrastructure, which would go to the AJPO to support the Ada community and vendors. This infrastructure support would include the creation and updating of bindings and tools to make Ada more competitive with other commercial languages. It would also continue to fund many of the successful initiatives started by the AJPO in recent years. They also took the more assertive step of saying that if DoD did not want to support the infrastructure for Ada at this level, it ought to abandon Ada altogether.

The Boehm study also made several very important findings in the area of software engineering and acquisition reform for the DoD. I suggest that if these findings are of interest to you, then you should obtain a copy of the report; it is available for downloading over the World Wide Web. (For further details on the report itself, and on obtaining copies of the documents available, see “NRC Study Recommends New Software Review Process, Changes in Ada Mandate” beginning on page 1.)

Personnel change

Finally, I have some personal news that may be of interest. Effective 22 November 1996, I regretfully submitted my resignation as the Chief of the AJPO. This has been a very enjoyable labor of love for me, and I will miss the people and the staff of the AJPO. The support staff of Jay Lynagh, Joan McGarity, and Gary Shupe are impossible to over praise. They are dedicated civil servants who work very hard behind the scenes to make things happen. I will miss their support. In addition, the staff of IIT Research Institute (IITRI) are very professional and are also unsung “heroes” on the Ada front. Each is a dedicated professional with a “can do” attitude. Finally, there is the cadre at DISA. From DISA Director Lt Gen Edmonds, through his deputy RADM Gauss, and the new Senior Executive Service (SES) executive Joanne Arnette, I could not have asked for more supportive bosses in the chain of command. I will miss them all. Most importantly, I will miss the support of the Ada community and ACM SIGAda, all of whom have always been there to help me do this job.

I am moving on to newer responsibility because of an opportunity too great to miss. I will be the Vice President, North America, for Q-Labs, a software-engineering-services provider. Q-Labs is a subsidiary of Ericsson and has a worldwide customer base.

If you should need to contact me, my new phone number is 301/864-1177; or you can send e-mail to ce@q-labs.com.

Thanks again for all of your support. I am sad to leave, but very excited by this new opportunity. Stay in touch!

Charles B. Engle Jr.
Chief, Ada Joint Program Office
22 November 1996

Ada Java Compiler Released

At the TRI-Ada ’96 Conference (Dec. 3-7, in Philadelphia), Intermetrics, Inc., announced the mass-market release of AppletMagic, its tool that converts Ada 95 source code to Java bytecode for execution by any Java-capable World Wide Web browser. AppletMagic simplifies the development of complex, high-reliability applets and can be used as a supplement or an alternative to the Java language.

The Ada Joint Program Office (AJPO) provided partial funding for development of AppletMagic through its Ada Technology Insertion Program-Partnerships (ATIP-P) program. Priced at $99, with a reduced price of $40 for academic use, AppletMagic includes a development environment, class libraries, multimedia training, and Ada language documentation.

Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Explorer, and other Web browsers contain Java bytecode interpreters that execute applets downloaded from Web sites. Because the applets can now be generated by AppletMagic as well as any other Java development environment, the developer can program either in Ada 95 or in Java, or can mix the two; the end user can’t tell the difference.

Tucker Taft, principal designer of Ada 95, and Intermetrics’ technical leader for AppletMagic, said: “The combination of Ada 95 and Java technologies is a ‘best of both worlds’ solution. Ada provides compile-time advantages such as enumeration types, generic templates, in, in-out, and out parameter modes, etc., while the Java execution technology contributes runtime flexibility through automatic garbage collection, dynamic linking and platform independence”.

(As part of the TRI-Ada program, Taft spoke on “Exploiting Java Technology with Ada”.)

Bill Carlson, Vice President for Products and Technology, said: “With Java support on nearly every desktop, and Java-based network appliances and embedded computers popping up everywhere, we’re very excited about making Ada’s software engineering strengths and legacy of reusable software available as an applet development tool.”

AppletMagic is available on CD-ROM for Windows 95 and Windows NT, and can be purchased online. Users seeking more information can visit the AppletMagic site at http://www.appletmagic.com. Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., Intermetrics, Inc., is a software-development, systems-integration and systems-services company. Further information about Intermetrics can be found at its home page at http://www.intermetrics.com.

Ada 95 at Work

In this issue, we’re listing some of the Ada 95 projects recently added to the Ada Usage Database. If you’d like to submit information on your own project, see the survey form on pages 15-16. If you’d like to check out more such projects, they’re searchable on-line on the AdaIC Web site: http://archive.adaic.com/projects/.

Acumentor/Orbix Ada
Includes all functionality presented in the CORBA 2.0 specifications; supports numerous extensions. [PC: Commercial]

Ada 95 Bindings for Global Command and Control System (GCCS)
Combining ProtoTech and STARS technology to provide a set of Ada 95 bindings for the GCCS common core services (about 9000 functions in 1000 header files).

Ada 95 GUI Binding and Tools for Windows 95 (Claws) Specifically designed for Ada 95 and Win32; will not be tied to the underlying C API routines. A Windows 95 visual applications builder for the Ada 95 programming language. [PC: Commercial]

Ada 95/POSIX Avionics Open Systems Demonstration Program (OSAT) JSF AV-8B
Avionics flight test demonstration, technology risk reduction program for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF, formerly JAST). Calculates weapon release ballistics and related cockpit display information. [Workstation/AV-8B (Harrier) Mission Computer: DoD]

GRASP/Ada 95
Research project to investigate, formulate, and generate “Graphical Representations of Algorithms, Structures, and Processes for Ada”. Has potential to replace pretty-printed Ada source code. [Workstation: Non-DoD Gov’t]

MIL-STD-1553B Bindings for Ada 95
Bindings for the standard on multiplex serial data bus applications are offered as thick and thin. [DoD]

Ada 95 and Trustworthy Systems
Study to produce a document advising how to use Ada 95 for the development of critical applications. [Canadian]

Ada Binding for ODMG-93
Approach allows Ada programmers to use a single language to access object-oriented database functionality regardless of vendor. [Workstation: Air Force]

Ada Computer-Aided Programming System (AdaCAPS)
Interactive development environment (IDE) that works with GNAT (GNU-NYU Ada 95 Translator) under DOS. [PC: Academic]

GNAT Ada 95 Graphics Package (GNA95GP)
2D graphics package/instructional tool; when fully implemented, also to be graphics programming tool. [PC: Academic]

GNARL
Tasking runtime system of the GNU NYU Ada 95 Translator (GNAT) compiler. [Workstation: Academic]cont’d from previous page

Ada Sound: Structured Music Synthesis System in Ada 95
Proposed to develop new music synthesis system to remedy deficiencies with using outdated computer music languages, and to exploit parallel computers. [PC: Academic]

Ada Upgrade for VisualAge
Enables users to develop software applications by visually connecting software “parts” written in Ada 95 and C++. Users able to add new Ada 95 parts to the VisualAge palette. [Workstation/PC: Commercial]

AdaIDE for GNAT Ada 95
Windows-3.1-based interface program for GNAT Ada 95 program development; multi-document interface (MDI) program based on the Microsoft example in Visual BASIC 3.0. [PC: Academic]

Canadian Space Agency RadarSat Remote Sensing Satellite Payload Computer Unit
Will control payload subsystems, store information, and download it to the ground station in sync with the satellite’s orbits. [Canadian]

Computer Aided Instruction
Includes advanced CBT features; integrated with the resident Ada environment; to provide Ada 95 training over Internet. [Commercial/ATIP-P]

DACS/ASIS-95 and Test Coverage Tools
1) Implementation of the Ada 95 Semantic Interface Specification (ASIS 95) for the DDC-I Ada 95 Compiler System (DACS-95) front end. 2) Ada 95 test coverage environment based on ASIS 95. [Commercial]

Decaf
Java class Decompiler written in Ada 95. Version 1.0 provides similar output as javap program in Sun JDK distribution; future versions to allow translation to other languages. Ada 95 translation under development. For GNAT. [Commercial]

FIRM: An Ada Binding to ODMG-93 1.2
Functionality Integrated Resource Manager (FIRM), an ODBMS to support real-time avionics applications. [Air Force]

Foggy Bottom Transit Authority (FoBTA)
Computer-controlled HO-scale model of an urban rapid transportation system. [Workstation or PC: Academic]

Little Boxes: An Ada 95 Toolkit for Structured Diagrams
Proposed to design and implement a library of reusable Ada modules that would provide much of the infrastructure for programs that incorporate structured diagrams. [Academic]

Mapping HRT-HOOD Designs to Ada 95 Hierarchical Libraries
Uses subroutine renaming feature and child library feature of Ada 95 to improve the mapping/translations of designs into Ada. [European]

Mutants: An Ada 95 Generic Toolkit for Genetic Algorithms
Proposed to develop a library of components to simplify the construction of systems that use “genetic” methods of problem solving. [Academic]

NMR Spectrometer Control Software
Redesign of software to control a nuclear magnetic resistance spectrometer. [Workstation: Commercial]

OLE Automation Controller in Ada 95
For Microsoft Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) toolset for Microsoft WindowsNT/95 developer. Implemented an OLE automation controller that accessed an OLE server that provided access to CORBA objects. [PC: Air Force]

Object-Oriented Ada 95 Library
Tool to support teaching software engineering, software reuse, other Ada-related courses. [PC: Academic]

Project Armada 1995
Projects for last year students at Uppsala University: extend GNAT’s gnatdist to include all categorization pragmas and load balancing; enhance existing communication subsystem GARLIC; implement a distributed simulator. [Academic]

SemWeb — Semantic Webs
Provides browser and editor to support modeling and creation of Web sites; also provides Ada class libraries that define API for dynamically creating files in HTML, etc. [PC: Commercial]

Simulations of Tuberculosis Control Programs
Implements the simulations. [Commercial]

Stony Brook Ada 95
Ada 95 development system for DOS, 32-bit DOS extended, Win16, and Win32 applications development. [PC: Commercial]

Thor Ada 95 Microprocessor
Developing embedded computing system for Swedish Odin satellite to handle onboard attitude-control functions in space. Space-tested, first 32-bit microprocessor in space using Ada. [Swedish]

Academic Ada - Texbook and Special CD-ROM Edition of Ada 95 Compiler Released

Addison Wesley Computer & Engineering Publishing Group and Aonix (formerly Thomson Software Products) have teamed to release a compiler/textbook package aimed at the student market and also available for any academic, experimental, or personal use without restriction — so long as the use is non-commercial. (A full commercial license is available separately from Aonix.)

The package became available through bookstores in mid-December 1996. It includes both the textbook, Ada 95, Problem Solving and Program Design, Second Edition, by Michael B. Feldman and Elliot B. Koffman, and a CD-ROM version of the compiler, a “Special Edition” of Aonix’s Ada 95 compiler ObjectAda.

Development of the compiler was sponsored by the Ada Joint Program Office (AJPO), and the combined package was used for the first time in a summer-school Computer Science class taught at the Air Force Academy. At the conclusion of the course, the students favorably evaluated the compiler and textbook as easy to use and understand, and the package is now in regular use at both the Air Force Academy and West Point.

This Special Edition of ObjectAda is available for student and academic use on PCs and workstations running Windows95 and WindowsNT. No site license is needed, and the combined package is offered at the same price as the book alone except for an additional charge of around $5 for packaging.

The package

The CD-ROM includes:

For further information Instructors wishing to receive a complimentary examination copy of the textbook (ISBN 87009) for adoption consideration may send their request via e-mail to aw.cse@aw.com; within the USA, call 1-800/447-2226. Information is also available at Addison Wesley’s World Wide Web site: http://www.awl.com/cseng/author-index.htm (under Feldman).

For additional information on the full commercial site license available through Aonix, contact 1-800-97-AONIX (972-6649).

Ten Companies Announce New Software Tools Supporting Ada 95

Ten Ada Technology Insertion Program-Partnership (ATIP-P) companies have announced availability of new products; they bring to the commercial marketplace a variety of tools that enhance the usability of Ada 95.

The new products result from Ada Joint Program Office (AJPO) investments to stimulate wider adoption of the Ada programming language within government and the academic, industrial, and research communities. The 50/50 government-industry partnerships for ATIP-P were spearheaded by the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL). Following (in alphabetical order by company) are descriptions of the new products, their availability, and the points of contact for further information.

AdaMentor 95 AdaMentor 95 is a comprehensive computer-based training course in Ada 95, based on the textbook by John G. P. Barnes Programming in Ada 95. Delivered over the Internet, it supports several innovative features reminiscent of the traditional classroom — such as peer and instructor interaction, an interactive and nonlinear presentation of materials that includes direct links to hypertext reference documents, quizzes throughout the course, and direct access to a validated compiler and linker for solving in-course exercises. It supports both individual self-administered training and organizations providing structured training to a geographically dispersed group under the mentoring of an experienced instructor.

Availablity: The AdaMentor 95 training course was announced at the Tri-Ada’96 conference in Philadelphia, Dec. 4, 1996, and is available for online registration at http://www.adasoft.com/. Optional proficiency assessment testing is planned for early 1997.

Contact: Jerry Horsewood
AdaSoft, Inc.
Cherry Lane Business Park
8750-9 Cherry Lane
Laurel, MD 20707
tel: 301/725-7014; fax: 301/725-0980
e-mail: ada95@adasoft.com
WWW: http://www.adasoft.com/

AppletMagic

AppletMagic is an Ada 95 compiler that generates Java bytecodes. The compiler allows users to construct portable Java applets or applications using Ada 95 — the Ada 95 code being translated to bytecodes. Once translated, the Ada95-Java applets execute in the context of a World Wide Web (WWW) browser that supports Java (e.g., Netscape 2.0.x) and are used to enhance WWW pages with animation and other active and interactive features. The compiler produces portable Java bytecodes in the same kind of class files as Sun’s Java compiler, supporting interoperability between Java and Ada 95, including the extension of Java object classes with Ada 95 tagged records, and vice versa.

Availbility: Trial versions have been available on WWW site http://www.inmet.com/javadir/download/. Copies are usable for a limited time, after which they no longer function. A non-limited version may then be purchased. A commercial CD-ROM for Windows 95 is also available. Trial versions are available for Sparc Solaris, Windows 95/NT, and MacOS.

Contact: For information on how to order AppletMagic, visit Intermetrics’ WWW site: http://www.appletmagic.com/. (Also see “Ada Java Compiler Released” elsewhere in this issue.)

DACS/ASIS-95 and Test Coverage Tools (TCI)

DDC-I, Inc., offers an implementation for the DDC-I Ada 95 Compiler System (DACS) frontend conforming with the latest version of the Ada Semantic Interface Specification (ASIS 95) and an Ada 95 test coverage environment. An open-systems solution, the ASIS interface will be common among all DACS-95 compilers. It gives programmatic read-only access to semantic Ada 95 information through the compiler-independent ASIS 95 standard. DACS/ASIS-95 can be used to build Ada 95 tools — including restructuring, browsing and navigation tools, coding-style and standards-compliance tools, data-flow and dependency-tree analysis tools, language translations and document-generation tools, quality-assessment test tools, and safety- and security-compliance tools. The DACS-95 Test Coverage Tools set is an Ada 95 test-coverage environment, based on ASIS 95, which supports automatic test generation for structured analysis, coverage analysis (condition and decision coverage), nonintrusive verification, and support for embedded testing. A state-of-the-art test tool set for coverage testing, DACS-95 Test Coverage Tools are useful for unit and component testing and can be used to measure metric test completion.

Availability: Both DACS/ASIS-95 and DACS-95 Test Coverage Tools will be available in the second quarter of 1997.

Contact: Jennifer Sanchez, DDC-I
400 North 5th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004
tel: 602/275-7172; fax: 602/252/6054
e-mail: jc%ddciiphx@uunet.uu.net

SemWeb (Semantic Webs)

SemWeb provides a browser and editor to support the modeling and creation of Web sites using semantic networks. It also provides Ada class libraries that define an application programming interface (API) for dynamically creating files in HyperText Mark-up Language (HTML) and other WWW languages and formats. The SemWeb products were created to provide WWW sites with higher quality, semantic-based information and capabilities. The cost of maintaining a Web site is dramatically reduced through the use of formal modeling and the generation of Web sites from these descriptions. And novel, large, and complex Web-based servers can be implemented reliably through the use of Ada class libraries that generate HTML and other WWW standard formats based on the semantic network representing a site.

Availability: First quarter of 1997.

Contact: William Loftus
WPL Laboratories, Inc.
410 Lancaster Avenue, Suite 6
Haverford, PA 19041
tel: 610/658-2362
fax: 610/658-2361
WWW: http://www.wpllabs.com/semweb.html

Stony Brook Ada 95

Stony Brook Ada 95 is a complete Ada 95 development system for DOS, 32-bit extended, WIN 16, and WIN32 applications development. The Stony Brook compiler is intended to deliver increased developer productivity and superior code generation, and to achieve faster compilation times than any other optimizing compiler, for any language. The company reports that its compilers “produce high-quality code, as good as that of the best compiler, for any language, on the supported platforms.”

Availability: Stony Brook Ada 95 is presently in beta test. The initial release, featuring complete implementation, will be available March 1997.

Contact: Richard Gogesch
Stony Brook Software
187 East Wilbur Road, Suite 4
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
tel: 805/496-5837
fax: 805/496-7429

Ada 95 Upgrade for VisualAge

The Ada 95 Upgrade for VisualAge makes the features and power of IBM’s award-winning VisualAge C++ available to Ada 95. This upgrade for VisualAge enables users to develop software applications by visually connecting software parts written in Ada 95 and C++. The Ada 95 code is automatically generated for connecting software parts, and users are able to add new Ada 95 parts to the VisualAge palette. VisualAge ships with the IBM OpenClass Library, which is made up of a large collection of visual and nonvisual parts. The Ada 95 Upgrade for VisualAge support mixed-language ?

Availability: The Ada 95 Upgrade for VisualAge became available January 1, 1997.

Contact: Ralph Crafts
OC Systems, Inc.
9990 Lee Highway, Suite 270,
Fairfax, VA 22030
tel: 703/359-9709
fax 703/359-8161
e-mail: rec@ocsystems.com
WWW: http://www.ocsystems.com/products/visualage.html

Orbix Ada

Orbix Ada allows developers to create distributed applications based on the Object Management Group’s (OMG’s) Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) standard. Orbix includes all the functionality presented in the CORBA 2.0 specification — including Interface Definition Language (IDL) compiler, dynamic invocation interface, and InterORB interoperability protocol. Orbix supports numerous extensions to CORBA, to better enable the design and construction of advanced CORBA-based applications. Orbix for Windows provides a gateway between Microsoft’s Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) 2.0 and CORBA by way of a specially enhanced IDL compiler that generates a complete program that acts as an OLE automation server. Orbix supports major platforms using multiple programming languages, including Ada 95, C++, and Java.

Availability: Orbix Ada version 1.1 is now available for Solaris, SGI, AIX, DEC Alpha, HP-UX, and Windows NT on a variety of Ada 95 compilers. The latest version adds support for tasking and full CORBA type Any, using newly implemented Orbix libraries built 100% in Ada 95.

Contact: Phil Carrasco
Objective Interface Systems, Inc.
1892 Preston White Drive
Reston, VA 20191-5448
tel: 703/295-6500
fax: 703/295-6501
e-mail: info@ois.com
WWW: http://sigma.ois.com/products/oisprod.htm#AcumentorOrbix

GNAT Ada 95 for Apple Macintosh

McKee Consulting offers a GNU Ada Translator (GNAT) Ada 95 compiler and environments for the Macintosh, running Tenon Intersystems MachTen Unix. MachTen is a POSIX-conformant Unix with a full Internet protocol suite and a software-development environment based on the GNU compiler. The product includes:

Availability: GNAT Ada 95 was released to GNAT Internet sites in April 1996. MachTen was recently released on CD, with GNAT and McKee tools bundled.

Contact: Gary McKee
McKee Consulting
P.O. Box 3009
Littleton, CO 80161-3009
tel: 303/795-7287
fax: 303/347-1697
e-mail: gmckee@cloudnine.com or: gnat-mac@lists.csn.net

Claw for Microsoft Windows NT or Windows 95

The Claw binding is an object-oriented frontend environment offering a framework and resources for Ada programmers to create applications for the Microsoft Windows NT or Windows 95 operating systems. Windows programmers can now use Ada 95, the only internationally standard object-oriented programming language. Claw is a thick binding for Ada 95, and allows programming in the base language without additional commands or modifications to the code. Claw allows Ada 95 to be more effective on the world’s most popular operating system by providing all of the capabilities needed to make development of Ada 95 graphical user interface (GUI) applications easy. The tutorial documents the use of Claw with and without the GUI-construction tools.

Availability: See http://www.rrsoftware.com/claw.htm for further information.

Contact: Ian Goldberg
RR Software, Inc.
P.O. Box 1512
Madison, WI 53701-1512
tel: 608/245-0375
e-mail: ian@rrsoftware.com

MIL-STD-15553B Bindings for Ada 95

Noetic Software, Inc., offers thick and thin Ada 95 bindings for MIL-STD-1553B (multiplex serial data bus) applications, developed to implement hardware/bus initialization, bus control, remote terminal, and bus-monitor operations. Also available are thin bindings for a low-level interface to the ILD-DDC ACE (BU61589) MIL-STD-1553B hardware. These bindings allow for an easy transition of existing applications to Ada 95 and a greater potential for software reuse among all MIL-STD-1553B applications. The standard interface reduces costs and time investments associated with training developers in the creation and use of 1553B applications.

Availability: Became available in October 1996.

Contact: Michael Kiernan
Noetic Software, Inc.
Suite A-6
2300 Computer Avenue,
Willow Grove, PA 19090
tel: 215/784-9580
fax: 215/784-9582
e-mail: mkiernan@noetic.com

AdaIC Web Pages Redesigned

The AdaIC World Wide Web pages were recently redesigned with three goals in mind: to create a more consolidated directory of information that maximizes access to the AdaIC's most frequently accessed documents, reports, and programs; to increase the visibility and use of information within the databases for AdaIC Catalog of Education and Training (CREASE), compilers, products and tools, library, projects and usage, and Internet links databases; and to reduce the size of graphics on all main and sub pages.

Maximizing access

From the main page, users may go to a browsable directory of information on a particluar Ada subject area either by clicking on one of the green header boxes or by selecting from the pull-down navigational window. Links are provided under each of the Ada subject areas, for users looking for quick and direct access to some of the AdaIC's most frequently accessed files and pages.

A wealth of database information

The AdaIC maintains databases that track Ada education and training, products and tools, projects, compilers, publications, and other Internet resources. In order to more easily access the wealth of information in these databases, users may now execute both keyword searches and search on particular fields. Many titles, organizations, and tools are contained within scrollable lists for browsing, and search results contain links to the actual search item when available.

Graphics & bandwidth

In order to speed up the load time of the AdaIC Web pages, the graphics on the main and sub pages were reduced in size. Thus, the graphics can still serve as visual navigational clues, without impeding access to the actual information.

We encourage all our users to try out the new AdaIC site and let us know what you think! http://archive.adaic.com.

Services Building Track Records in Systematic Reuse: Services provide input to annual reuse report

In one sense, software reuse is a given throughout the world of software development. Virtually everyone agrees that it is vital to holding down costs and increasing quality, and virtually everyone has reused code from earlier efforts. In another sense, it is new territory, with lessons to be learned and old habits to be changed every day.

The difference is that ad hoc, opportunistic reuse is only the very beginning of reuse. To be successful, reuse must be systematic; it must be an established process working throughout development; it must be based on the domains where development actually takes place, whether avionics or financial accounting or any other; and it must build libraries of proven resources than can be easily accessed when needed.

This is what is meant by “reuse” at the Department of Defense (DoD) Software Reuse Initiative (SRI) at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). In SRI’s terms, this is a product-line approach — one that is systematic, process-driven, domain-specific, architecture-centric, and library-based.

Much work has already taken place along these lines. Now, those efforts must be given the widest possible circulation. One step in that process began on June 14, 1996, when Hon. Emmett Paige, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (ASD C3I), requested that the Services provide input to the SRI’s annual report to Congress.

The Services — accomplishments and plans

The Service inputs have provided status updates on their programs, shown the accomplishments of the past year, and indicated plans for the future. While differing in particulars, the three Services are each working towards the same general goals.

Army — guidance, tools, and project experience

The Army’s input notes that the Army Reuse Initiative is not a program as such, but is more a paradigm or process of addressing and leveraging potential reusable components. The common functions and software identified are key to the Army’s Technical Architecture. Implementation of this approach is a business decision that considers cost, schedule, and functional requirements against the benefits offered by software reuse and the integration and interoperability offered by a common architecture.

Important among centralized activities, the Army has been providing general guidance documents to support increased reuse. On Apr. 26, 1996, the Secretary of the Army signed the United States Army Software Reuse Policy. The Army is assigning domain managers to domains that align with the current Program Executive Officer’s (PEO’s) organization. The Army is also staffing an updated software-reuse strategy and implementation plan.

In concurrent action with the publishing of the software-reuse policy, the Director of Information Systems for Command, Control, Communications, and Computers (DISC4) drafted an updated Army Software Reuse Strategy and Army Software Implementation Plan. These two draft documents were reviewed and modified by an Army working group of software-reuse experts. Both documents were submitted Army-wide for comments and adoption in the last quarter of FY96.

The Army has also been moving ahead on tools and practical support for developers. For instance, the Army Reuse Center (ARC) incorporated a new commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) search-and-retrieval engine into the Army’s Reuse Library to provide an interactive Web interface to the Defense Software Repository System. The tool also allows greater access to the ARC through the Internet and only requires the user to have a Web Browser. The new tool provides greater interoperability with other reuse libraries.

Also, the Army is capitalizing on the lessons learned in a Communication-Electronics Command (CECOM) pilot project with the Software Technology for Adaptable Reliable Systems (STARS) program. In particular, a follow-on pilot is addressing the business-issue barriers to implementing reuse technology when contracted to private industry. Additionally, many significant software reuse initiatives were executed outside of a centralized Army effort, and some of these are described in the Army report.

Navy — achieving success within a practical framework

The Department of the Navy (DON) views software reuse as an essential part of the software development and acquisition process: As is true of other software development and acquisition practices, encouraging reuse makes sense in some instances, while in others it is simply not practicable.

From a Navy perspective, reuse is a practice or a decision point during the acquisition and development (including reengineering) process when the use of existing software assets is considered before new development is begun. The decision point exists for both government and contract developers because success in both communities is measured in terms of cost, schedule, and performance.

As part of the software development and acquisition process, the Navy has found that software reuse has not been implementable at the “enterprise” level. The primary factor readily limiting reuse at this level is that funding is provided on a program basis. There has been little incentive for one program to incur the additional expense of providing reusable components for another program.

The Navy’s success with software reuse is attributable to a Navy-wide awareness effort centered around the DON Software Reuse Plan, the DON Software Reuse Guide, and the support and funding provided by the SRI. Other factors, such as fiscal constraints, profit motives, maintenance costs, emphasis on architecture development, interoperability concerns, improved communications among programs, and the active involvement of the Program Executive Officers (PEOs) and Program Managers (PMs), have also contributed to the increased emphasis on reuse. The Navy finds that the momentum associated with these “natural” forces will likely sustain software reuse. It is Navy policy not to mandate software reuse but to consider software reuse prior to any new development and/or reengineering effort. This is consistent with DOD 5000.2-R, Part 4.3.5 (1 and 2).

Air Force — Reuse support from conferences to tools

In its input to the annual reuse report, the Air Force highlighted several activities and products during the last year to support the DoD SRI — including participation in DoD planning and review meetings; planning, coordination, and execution of workshops, conferences, and conference sessions; and the publication of reuse-related documents that support program managers and engineers in the adoption and integration of reuse practices.

Besides supporting development and review of SRI documents (including the Reuse Vision and Strategy, the SRI Strategic Plan, and the SRI Operational and Management Plan), the Air Force has developed three guidance documents of its own: the USAF SRI Goals and Objectives, the USAF SRI Strategic Plan, and the USAF SRI Implementation Plan. The Goals and Objectives is complete, the Strategic Plan is undergoing final USAF review, and the Implementation Plan is planned to be released for USAF field review by the end of September.

Two important building blocks in the Air Force’s internal effort have been the Comprehensive Approach to Reusable Defense Software (CARDS) and Portable, Reusable, Integrated Software Modules (PRISM) programs.

Under the USAF CARDS Partnerships program, the Air Force developed the Reuse Methodology Fusion Framework — which aids program managers and engineers in the selection and integration of reuse methods into various software lifecycle processes. The CARDS Partnerships program also developed the Reuse Readiness Technology Transition Framework — which aids DOD organizations in assessing their current software lifecycle processes and environments and planning the adoption of reuse technology, concepts, methods, processes, and tools.

The USAF CARDS program coordinated and supported the SRI/MITRE, Inc., workshop on DoD Domain Scoping held in September 1995. The results of these efforts were presented at the 1995 and 1996 Software Technology Conference held in Salt Lake City. In addition, the CARDS program planned and coordinated Reuse 95 and Reuse 96 — focused conferences on state-of-the-art reuse practices.

The Air Force continues to pursue an active agenda in software reuse. While it notes funding constraints, current plans include continuing current efforts aimed at: