The objective of this experiment is to enhance the software development process by introducing functional modelling by means of the CASE tool Rodon. Rodon allows the automatic generation of the object code, based on the functional definition of the system. The software development cycle is reduced to modelling and system level testing thus avoiding the phases design , implementation and module level testing. The idea is to build up a standard library (object oriented class library with multiple inheritance) of reusable functional models of technical components.
This document deals with the experience and lessons learnt during the Application Experiment "Functional Modelling as an Advanced Approach to Generate Diagnostic Software". The objective was to enhance the SW development process at THEN, a world wide provider of complex, high-end dyeing machines and dryers for yarn and fabrics. To ensure high-end quality and availability of our products, diagnostic software is a crucial, part of our systems. The Application Experiment is focused on the introduction of functional modelling as a specification method, to efficiently build error free diagnostic software.
This methodology was supported by the CASE tool Rodon, delivered by R.O.S.E. Informatik, a SW tool specialist for modelling and simulating complex technical systems. Rodon allows the generation of diagnostic software, based on the functional definition of the system, e.g. a dyeing machine. Thus, the SW development cycle is reduced to modelling and system level testing, i.e. avoiding the phases design, implementation and module level testing of the diagnostic software. Rodon automatically generates object code from the functional specification, so that system integration and system level testing can immediately begin. Within this Application Experiment we have learnt to build up an object oriented standard class library of reusable functional models of technical components of a dyeing machine. Rodon offers a user-friendly drag and drop GUI (Graphical User Interface), which allows an easy adoption of the methodology, as well as an efficient system modelling by utilising the self-build standard library.
EXPECTED IMPACT AND EXPERIENCE
The new approach to generate Diagnostic software instead of coding is a method which fulfils our objectives ,both from the Technical and from Business viewpoint. This new approach allows an easier way to embed the method in our organisation. Our objectives to develop reusable and robust software have been met. The test phase has been reduced to 60 % of our original time. The management has decided to continue this experiment beyond the prototype and to make available more resources. It is planned to exploit the results, by creating a standard library for customers for the next generation of systems.