THALES and PrismTech Target Mission-Critical Systems

THALES and PrismTech jointly announced a strategic alliance that will see PrismTech independently develop and commercially exploit THALES’ Data Distribution Service (DDS) middleware technologies. THALES in turn ensures the future competitiveness of their mission-critical systems through PrismTech packaging, enhancing, and supporting them in a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) product line. This new DDS product line is being launched by PrismTech and will be marketed under PrismTech’s OpenSplice(TM) brand name.

For many years THALES had been developing its own proprietary middleware solutions for mission-critical systems but, since the end of the 1990s, THALES has been following an open architecture strategy and has been heavily involved in the development of open Standards. A significant part of this strategy was the active role of THALES in the standardization of the DDS specification at the Object Management Group(TM) (OMG(TM)) and the implementation of a DDS-compliant product, SPLICE-DDS, which leveraged more than fifteen years of publish-subscribe middleware deployment experience in Combat Management and Air Traffic Control Systems. THALES’ business alliance with PrismTech is seen by both companies as a logical continuation of this strategy which establishes OpenSplice(TM) as the most complete and proven COTS DDS implementation available.

Dominique Vernay, VP Research and Technologies of THALES, said: “Innovation and technical leadership are key differentiators in all our markets, Defense, Aerospace and Security. THALES has established an innovation eco-system, including academic laboratories, universities and industrials, where high-tech SMEs play a key role both as research partners and as technology providers. The agreement between THALES and PrismTech exemplifies this strategy. It will ensure sustained R&D collaboration in the area of open middleware technologies and the dissemination in the larger market of a software technology initially developed by THALES for a limited business area. Our main objective in this agreement with PrismTech is to ensure that the SPLICE DDS technology remains the best-in-class, fully-compliant DDS COTS, to sustain our open systems architecture strategy.”

Keith Steele, CEO of PrismTech, added, “Partnership is the keyword in the relationship announced with Thales today. This is truly a win-win situation, not only for PrismTech and Thales, but also for the wider market. PrismTech benefits in that we can fully exploit and further develop best in class field-proven technology in our core middleware business and bring it to market in a very timely manner. Thales is able to guarantee that an innovative technology investment vital to their business but not in a ‘core’ functional area goes on to become a best-in-class COTS product, guaranteeing ongoing development and support in line with Thales’s often extended program requirements. Thales also benefits from a close ongoing commercial and technical relationship in a key technology area alongside a partner with whom they share common goals and objectives, particularly in respect to product quality and our joint commitment to open standards. The wider market clearly benefits by being able to now access high quality COTS software that would otherwise have remained ‘internal’ to the Thales organisation.”

Thomas Chehire, Technologies and Products Director of the THALES Software Architecture Center of Excellence, also welcomed the announcement, “SPLICE middleware has been validated in THALES systems and provides both the needed quality of service for mission-critical systems and full compliance with the OMG DDS standard. We are confident it is now ready for wider exploitation in the open market for DDS middleware. We selected PrismTech to work with us because we believe that they are best qualified to ensure the continuing availability of SPLICE functionality as a best-in-class, fully-compliant DDS COTS product, which THALES will continue to use internally as part of its open architecture strategy.”

Additionally, commenting on the capabilities of OpenSplice, Hans van’t Hag, OpenSplice Product Manager, at PrismTech enthused, “The market will reap significant benefits as a result of this partnership. It provides the real-time developer with a more productive, satisfying and cost-efficient development and deployment experience while delivering mission-critical systems to market faster at lower cost and with higher quality.”

About Thales
Thales is a world leader in electronics and systems. Throughout the world, the Group serves the defence, aerospace and security markets, supported by a comprehensive service offering. The Group optimises the parallel development of civil and military activities to serve a single objective: the security of people, goods and states. With more than 20,000 high-level researchers, Thales offers a capability unmatched in Europe to develop and deploy critical information systems for defence and security markets. Employing 60,000 staff in fifty countries, Thales posted 2005 revenues of €10.3 billion and a record order book of over €20 billion.

About PrismTech
Founded in 1992, with offices in the USA and Europe, PrismTech is a privately held software products company. PrismTech serves international Fortune 500 customers in the telecommunications, data communications, defense and aerospace sectors. PrismTech is an acknowledged leader in software productivity tools and middleware, with solutions ranging from wide-scale integration to embedded real-time systems, supporting applications from operations support systems (OSS) through to software-defined radio (SDR). PrismTech is a recognized technology leader and vendor to the Mission Systems contractor community with a customer base including Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and EADS in addition to THALES. PrismTech has particular expertise in distributed computing infrastructure, model-driven development and real-time and embedded systems.