“Over the last decade high tech systems have become more powerful, but also increasingly complex from software point of view. Sioux excels in engineering control systems by mastering and applying technologies like Verum’s model-driven software engineering tools. For more than 5 years these tools have boosted our ability to create defect free software. It is absolutely true that there is an increased productivity, resulting in reduced development and maintenance costs and therefore more room for adding customer value”Michael van de Ven, Software Technology Specialist, Sioux Embedded Systems BV
“FEI designs, manufactures, and supports the broadest range of high-performance microscopy workflows that provide images and answers in the micro-, nano-, and picometer scales. For over 5 years we have been working with the first generation of Verum’s model-driven software engineering tools. Their fully integrated design, verification and code generation toolset has delivered major benefits for FEI in terms of finding errors early and delivering better software at a lower cost. We have been involved in the development of the second generation of their tools and we expect that the new modelling language will minimise the overhead we have encountered so far in terms of learning curve and system integration issues.”Martijn Kabel, R&D SW Manager, FEI Company
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Software archaeology in practiceMay 13, 2016
Recovering lost behaviour from legacy code using Dezyne
An unpleasant but nevertheless unavoidable truth of software development is that conventionally developed software ‘rots’ in time. Rot occurs slowly and insidiously, driven by the very nature of source code itself and the human factors that impinge on developing and maintaining it. It often starts when changes to source code are not reflected in documentation, leading to a loss of readily accessible information. It accelerates when development teams change and knowledge of the – now poorly documented – code is lost. It proliferates when new features are added by new software engineers, based on incomplete documentation and knowledge. It reaches its zenith as the law of diminishing returns kicks in and development progress grinds to a halt. It is at this point that reengineering the software becomes unavoidable.
From a business perspective, reengineering software is a nightmare. It involves spending a lot of time and money just to stand still. It’s also highly risky, simply because the existing legacy software is so poorly understood. And in the worst case history can repeat itself, with the newly reengineered code base being no more resistant to rot than its predecessor. This risk, and the work involved in reengineering, can be greatly diminished if the essential functionality and behaviour of the software can be recovered from the legacy code base. Future rot can be minimized by converting the legacy code into verifiably complete and correct models.
Engineering tools for software controlled systems
Verum exists because our team, along with our customers, believes that there’s a better way to build software systems. We mean to provide software engineers with a range of tools that will free their creativity, liberating them from the constraints of conventional development methods and opening up a new, organised and fun way to create sophisticated software controlled systems.
Robert Howe founded Verum in 2004 with the belief that there was a better way to develop complex embedded software. Through the application of proven mathematical techniques, Verum has developed unique technology that is at the heart of our new generation of software design tools.
Verum has established reference customers for its technology which include leading companies such as Philips, ASML, FEI and Ericsson (to name a few). Through these projects we have demonstrated that our products deliver a net 30%-50% improvement in productivity and a corresponding decrease in time to market and software defects.
Results such as these have helped Verum’s customers to continue to innovate while driving quality improvements.
Based close to Eindhoven in The Netherlands, Verum maintains close ties with researchers of the Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e) and of Oxford University in the UK.
Verum uses a Lego Mindstorms model as a live demonstrator of results achieved with the Dezyne modeling tool. This is a model of a wafer stepper composed of a feeder robot, a 2d stage and a material handling robot. The control software is mainly written with Dezyne. It interfaces with the motors and sensors through a USB connection with four Mindstorms controller bricks.
The assignment is to extend this model to show new features in the Dezyne modeling language; for example dealing with multithreading. Together with a coach from Verum a new setup for the stepper control software will be defined that requires usage of these new features. One of the options is a distributed multi-processor design with controllers implemented on Raspberry-PI boards. Each of the sub-systems would have a dedicated controller and use an inter-process communication mechanism to interact with other sub-systems.
The total system must first be modeled in Dezyne and proven to be correct. After code generation the total system will be integrated in the Lego system and also have to work in practice.
Interested? Send an email to Verum.
ContactVerum Software Tools BV
Laan van Diepenvoorde 6, 5582 LA Waalre, The Netherlands
Company info: Tel: +31 40 235 9090
HelpDesk: Tel: +31 40 235 9094
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