LDRA, Codice Software Team on Agile Development Framework for Embed-X

LDRA, the leading provider of automated software verification tools, and Codice Software, developer of the Plastic SCM, the next-generation software change and configuration management solution, have partnered to provide Agile development capability to Embed-X, the only ALM product focused on the development and verification of critical, embedded software systems. Although Agile development has previously been considered at cross-purposes with safety-critical software development, LDRA and Codice have solved these challenges by incorporating Plastic SCM’s Agile benefits into the Embed-X application lifecycle management solution.

Plastic SCM is the next-generation of SCCM software designed for today’s demanding development environments supporting agile and parallel methodologies in often distributed frameworks. The capabilities of Plastic SCM enhance the Embed-X solution and make Codice Software a valuable strategic partner for LDRA. Plastic SCM accurately tracks and maps the complete development history within Embed-X, giving developers simple click-through access to critical details. Plastic SCM’s task-focused management tracks software change and configuration over the entire project lifecycle from requirements and design through analysis, code development and testing, coordinating version control and software branching and merging as the development project evolves. With an eye to interoperability across multiple development platforms, Plastic SCM offers a small footprint and can merge information among geographically distributed development teams — a characteristic well-suited to the development of modern complex critical software in vertical markets such as avionics, defense, automotive, medical, telecom, and networking.

Known for its rapid prototyping and ability to flexibly adapt to system changes during the development process, Agile development creates code iteratively, detailing all phases of design from requirements and coding, through analysis and test for small increments of code produced over 2-4 week periods. By detailing only a small increment at a time and completing that section of code, a team can identify and correct errors as they go along rather than allowing fundamental system errors to repeatedly propagate throughout the full project development cycle. Agile’s iterative, test-driven development methodology significantly improves code quality while saving the cost and time caused by delayed error identification. Boeing and Airbus maintain that errors not identified until first flight cost 900 times more to correct.

“Rapidly accelerating software complexity and ballooning code volume further complicate the certification of a critical device,” noted Pablo Santos, CEO of Codice Software. “Embed-X with Plastic SCM eases that difficulty by automating the enormous challenge of tracking the hundreds of thousands of changes that are part of every software project. The marriage of Plastic SCM and Embed-X allows companies to comprehensively, efficiently and reliably track, test and trace critical embedded software development.”

“Embed-X gives companies a way to cut the spiralling system costs endemic to today’s development processes,” stated Ian Hennell, LDRA Operations Director. “Not only can errors be identified in the early stages since testing begins almost immediately, but the licensing agreement that we have put together with Codice and other Embed-X partners means that the entire development team can get onboard for substantially less than it would have previously cost for the individual licenses. We are extending our commitment to building high-quality software in very practical terms.”

With this release, Embed-X will support Agile development through rapid prototyping, extensive branching/merging, version controls, role-based project task assignments, and empirical process controls for actual tasks, assets produced and their required sequencing. Through its Lifecycle Traceability Matrix (LTX), Embed-X maintains the multitude of software versions and artefacts, plus all the change items that occur in Agile development, while still providing the extensive traceability, verification and accountability demanded by critical software certifications. These multiple challenges are met by Embed-X LTX and the persistence mechanism designed for Embed-X by Codice Software.

Embed-X is geared to meet the demands of safety-critical development standards. Incorporating LDRA’s patent-pending verification management technology, Embed-X will help system engineering, development and production organizations by coherently tracing requirements through static and dynamic analysis to unit testing and system verification to achieve a fully certified application. Embed-X offers compliance with critical standards such as DO-178B and MISRA, and security standards, such as CERT C and the Homeland Security Agency’s Common Weakness Enumerations (CWE).

Industries giants, such as Intel, predict that certification volume of industrial devices in rail, medical and manufacturing will climb from today’s less than 5% to 30% by 2013. This steep increase in certification requirements at the embedded level will drive the need for embedded process management. By integrating full certification support into the Embed-X embedded process management, developers gain a graphical workflow engine that allows the product owner to define project objectives, the tasks to be performed, the required scheduling and sequencing, as well as all project roles and the assets that must be produced.

“LDRA has an unrivalled track record for certification and critical development support in avionics, defense, automotive and medical markets,” added Hennell. “We bring 35 years of embedded expertise to Embed-X, ensuring that at the micro-detail level, developers can most efficiently and effectively manage all development aspects of their embedded certified device from requirements through analysis and testing to final certification.”

A demonstration of Embed-X will be available at the LDRA booth #2208 of Embedded Systems Conference.

About LDRA
For more than thirty years, LDRA has developed and driven the market for software that automates code analysis and software testing for safety-, mission-, security- and business- critical markets. Working with clients to achieve early error identification and full compliance with industry standards, LDRA traces requirements through static and dynamic analysis to unit testing and verification for a wide variety of hardware and software platforms. Boasting a worldwide presence, LDRA is headquartered in the UK with subsidiaries in the United States and an extensive distributor network.

About Codice Software
Codice Software is a privately held software development company focused on the design and distribution of next-generation software control and configuration management (SCCM) solutions. The company’s mission is to speed and secure software development, supporting agile and parallel methodologies in local and distributed environments, for companies worldwide with development teams ranging from five to 500 members. Codice provides development teams with a robust, high-end SCM product, implementing enterprise-class functionality, while making next-generation SCM affordable and widely available to any-sized organization. Codice Software’s international marketing and sales headquarters are located in Silicon Valley, with additional offices across North America and a network of international distributors.