The OMI Software Architecture Forum is a project to foster the growth and development of an open market for software components for embedded applications. This will include everything from dish-washers to set-top boxes and automotive components.
Up to now, embedded systems have contained relatively little software and there have been few concerns as to reuse, interoperability, compatibility etc. However, with pervasive computing now on the crest of a wave these issues are coming to the fore. This was foreseen by OMI in establishing the software projects and recognising the need for a coherent strategy. However, progress to date has been relatively slow. It is therefore proposed to jump forward by means of this project through the creation of a well-organised forum for collective endeavour. The forum will be oriented not simply to standardisation but to creating the conditions in which standardisation will occur naturally. As the forum develops it will be able to take advantage of its unique relationship with the OMI community and its active RTD workprogramme. The work of the forum will naturally lend direction to the OMI workprogramme in software as well as giving rise to autonomous standardisation and rationalisation activities. The role of the project partners is to provide professional support to the forum and its working organs at a level commensurate with its objectives.
The project will attract significant players from around Europe. This will increase the chances of adoption of the forum's deliverables and help to disseminate the results. The OSAF project will create deliverables of direct interest to OMI participants and companies in similar markets.
Project Context :
This project carries forward the OMI's building block approach to systems into the embedded software field, through the pragmatic evolution of architectures and interface standards in a user driven process directed towards the building of an SLI (Software Library of Interfaces). As with the OMI ELI (European Library of Interfaces), interoperability will need to be considered in relation to the whole development process to allow components to be adopted without sacrifice of quality. The OSAF project is related to many OMI projects with a software requirement as it will influence architectures and standards in the application areas of greatest industrial importance. The forum will review embedded systems development processes with the aim of prioritising their common requirements and creating a software architectural framework to allow standardisation and component development to proceed autonomously.
The forum will be run as an open organisation. It is intended to make the greater part of the permanent technical documentation of the project available through an electronic repository associated with the site used for electronic dissemination.
Project Execution :
OSAF was originally planned as a 24 months project. Due to budgets limitations the project is intended to be run in two phases. The first phase is covered by the present 8 months project and provides the set-up of the OSA Forum, the related organisational structure and first focus working groups. It will deliver an initial report on standardisation requirements in embedded software and information dissemination of OSAF results. The consortium partners intend to submit a proposal for a follow-on project covering the second phase in order to provide continuation and achievement of the initial project objectives.