DATELINE: August 5, 1994

A re-engineered Ada system won first place in the Object World Conference international competition for the Best Object-Based Application Developed Using Non-Object Tools.

The Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master StationAtlantic organization in Norfolk, Va., defeated Pacific Bell, the other finalist, and 60 other contenders in the competition. The winning Ada team used the AdaSAGE development environment to reengineer a system of 2,000 programs and 2.8 million lines of Cobol code. This was their first project, and they completed it on-time and within budget. It has proven to be a cost effective alternative to the continued maintenance of the legacy system.

The system is the Type Commanders Readiness Management System (TRMS). It assists the commanders-in-chief of the Atlantic and Pacific fleets in combat readiness, casualty reporting, aviation maintenance, logistics, inspections and training.

Under the leadership of CDR Fred W. Thompson, Jr., TRMS was developed by the Navy with the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station LANT (NCTAMS LANT). TRMS was originally a legacy system, the Type Commander Headquarters Automated Information System (THAIS). The reason for the reengineering of THAIS into TRMS was a combination of information engineering, rapid prototyping and building upon the existing system and its documented backlog of change requests.

TRMS is a distributed application, written in Ada '83, and runs in a client server PC LAN environment. It consists of over 150,000 lines of Ada code. Of these lines of code, approximately 40% are calls into AdaSAGE, which represent an estimated 150,000 additional lines of Ada code. Internal reusable libraries represent approximately 9% of the application.

After being successfully fielded at the six Navy Type Commanders, TRMS has exhibited many advantages over the original COBOL THAIS system:

[Source: Fascimile from Mike Shumate, Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Director of Software Technology.]


DATELINE: August 5, 1994

Though Ada 94 is eagerly anticipating approval, it has one rather significant hurdle to overcome: Can its bindings be updated quickly for graphical user interfaces that did not exist when Ada was conceived?

Binding is the process by which Ada compilers translate a call to a computing routine into machine code instructions, usually via direct call to the routine's address. Although most Ada 83 bindings will retain compatibility with the 9X version, much more robust bindings are needed to take advantage of 9X features such as object orientation.

Bindings must meet Posix Ada standards and must be standardized to IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Standard 1295. This standardization could take two to four more years. The first Ada 94-compliant programming products probably will appear around March, 1995.

"The key word is finalize," said Ada Joint Program Office Director Don Reifer. "We do have a bindings plan for Ada 9X. Granted, that will take time. But that doesn't mean bindings won't be available. Bindings will be ready to go when the language is released."

"It's more important that the language be ready than for fast bindings to be available," said David Emery, a Mitre Corp. software engineer who serves as vice chairman of the IEEE Posix committee that will consider the binding issues. In regards to the switch from Ada 83 to Ada 94, Emery said, "My perspective is that openminded programmers, once they get a handle on Ada 94, will see it has a lot of advantages."

[Source: McCarthy, Shawn P. "Just When Your Thought Ada 94 Would Finally Arrive . . ." Government Computer News. 25 July 1994, Vol. 13, No.16.]