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A Basis for a Portable Common Tool Environment

Objective

The objectives of the PCTE project were to define the necessary interface specifications and to implement the basic utilities and working prototypes of a portable common tool environment (PCTE) to support tool development. The tool and user interface specifications were to be maintained as public domain documents to ensure common tool portability.
Portable common tool environment (PCTE) is a set of interface specifications for a public (software) tools interface. It is intended to be used as the basis for the construction of integrated software engineering environments.By defining a standard public tool interface, such as environment can be constructed more economically from a range of different vendors' products, since adherence to the standard would make such tools independent of a particular vendor or particular hardware. In addition, there is now widespread recognition that computer aided software engineering (CASE) requires a control common database to act as a repository for all the development objects (code, designs, requirements, etc) which are an integral part of large scale software development. PCTE provides sophisticated mechanisms for such a repository by means of its object management system. It should also be stressed that PCTE is primarily targeted towards the open systems market.

The objectives of the project were to define the necessary interface specifications and to implement the basic utilities and working prototypes of a portable common tool environment (PCTE) to support tool development. The tool and user interface specifications were to be maintained as public domain documents to ensure common tool portability. The kernel which constitutes the environment was evaluated by developing a configuration management system (CMS), a knowledge based programer's assistant (KBPA), and other tools. Specifications of the tool and user interfaces were made, and are available in the public domain under the control of the independent PCTE interfaces management board (PIMB). Both Ada and C specifications are also available. Various prototypes of the PCTE functionalities have been demonstrated. Commercial implementations are already available on the market. An Ada versions of the PCTE object modelling system (OMS) and tool interfaces is available in order to ensure that the PCTE can provide the basis for an efficient Ada project support environment.
The kernel which constitutes the environment was evaluated by developing a Configuration Management System (CMS), a Knowledge-Based Programmer's Assistant (KBPA), and other tools.
Specifications of the tool and user interfaces were made, and are available in the public domain under the control of the independent PCTE Interfaces Management Board (PIMB). Both Ada and C specifications are also available.
Various prototypes of the PCTE functionalities have been demonstrated. Commercial implementations are already available on the market (Emeraude on Bull SPS7 and Sun 3). An Ada version of the PCTE OMS and tool interfaces is available in order to ensure that the PCTE can provide the basis for an efficient Ada project support environment.
Exploitation
PCTE provides a European standard for support environment interfaces enabling the growth of a software tools market and the efficient, coherent development of large systems across multi-company development teams. Links are presently being established withvarious European national programmes and European development agencies, and industry prospects appear good for achieving a high level of coordination.
PCTE is used in national programmes and EUREKA projects, and is forming the basis for international efforts to build standard programmer environments.
The PCTE Interfaces Management Board (PIMB) is controlling the interfaces and will be in charge of their evolution. Particular attention is given to standardisation through the activities of ECMA Technical Committee 33. Many tool designers and developers have adopted these interfaces in Europe, and the Ada version will have a considerable impact in the US.
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Coordinator

Bull SA

Address

68 Route De Versailles
78430 Louveciennes

France

Participants (5)

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GEC Marconi Research Centre

United Kingdom

Ingegneria C. Olivetti and C. SpA

Italy

International Computers Ltd (ICL)

United Kingdom

SIEMENS-NIXDORF INFORMATIONSSYSTEME AG

Germany

Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG

Germany

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 1525

  • Start date

    1 October 1984

  • End date

    1 April 1989

Funded under:

FP1-ESPRIT 1

Coordinated by:

Bull SA

France