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Spectra Tools 'Raise the Bar' for Model-Driven Software Development; Innovative Use of Domain-Specific Metamodels Allows Superior Levels of Productivity and Quality in Software Development.

LONDON -- PrismTech(TM), a leading provider of productivity tools and middleware, today announced the GA release of its Spectra(TM) PE software development tool for software-defined radio (SDR) developers. Spectra PE is an example of a new class of software development tools that offer superior levels of productivity and correctness for specific application-domains.

By combining the latest technologies in application metamodeling, domain-specific languages and automatic source-code generation, testing and documentation, Spectra tools provide a first-to-market COTS example of the greatest advance in software development tooling since the adoption of object-oriented languages and UML in the mid-1990s. Systems engineers and software developers can now work collaboratively on the same high-level application component models (e.g. of a waveform or radio platform) to eradicate errors at design time (rather than compile time) and with confidence that the tools will auto-generate correct, efficient and documented source code which is compliant with relevant open standards (as required). Furthermore, application modifications are easily implemented at the model level, with the new source code again automatically generated by the tool. Overall this new generation of tools can improve SDR code development productivity by up to 100x (man-hours instead of man-months) and inherently ensure correctness and standards-compliance. Spectra PE has been developed by a team of acknowledged world-class experts in SDR software development and users of Spectra PE can thus benefit from that experience and focus on their radio product (application value-add) rather than software engineering concepts and complexities.

Spectra PE 'raises the bar' in many ways and is clearly differentiated from generic IT modeling and code generation tools by its built-in application-domain-specific 'intelligence'. This domain-specific functionality imposes certain limitations on the user, but for good reason! By constraining the user to correctly apply design rules the tool ensures design correctness and thus that the generated code will be standards compliant, efficient and implementable. Just as in a hand-held calculator, the intelligence in the tool constrains input to ensure correctness of output.

This inherent intelligence in Spectra PE also uniquely ensures:

In modeling:

--Spectra supports truly model-driven development paradigms, meaning all the modeling options are constrained by the domain, so you can only produce viable, domain-compliant waveform and platform deployment models using Spectra. Other tool solutions use test scripts to validate each model produced, resulting in needless iterations of modeling because the models themselves are not fully controlled by the domain and thus many flawed designs can be produced before a set of valid options is collected for best choice for deployment considerations.

--Spectra's modeling interface provides multiple scalability features for very large waveforms, including layered connection views that can be displayed in any combination of connection layers or components. Other tools offer only one view of waveform deployment models that quickly becomes visually incomprehensible for more complex waveforms.

--Spectra provides side-by-side modeling views, allowing visual design comparison of waveform and platform model options.

--Spectra supports drag-and-drop functionality, not only for each of the waveform modeling and the platform modeling views, but also between the two modeling views. Waveform developers can model their waveform and then drag it onto the platform modeling environment to continue the end-to-end waveform design and deployment process in a seamless fashion.

In code generation:

--Code and XML is complete, not a template, and can be used as generated to build the waveform infrastructure and test it. No editing or custom programming is required.

--No platform-specific libraries are used in Spectra-generated code to provide maximum portability and reduce dependencies on platform changes. Elimination of platform-specific code make Spectra generated code 100% IP owned by the customer.

--SCA code as generated is portable across any SCA-compliant ORB and Core Framework. Partially compliant platforms require only very minor edits to the generated code.

--Spectra code generators out of the box can be targeted for multiple RTOSs: Integrity, LynxOS, VxWorks, Linux, etc.

In testing:

--Automatic generation of a full test framework to allow off-target infrastructure testing of waveforms to fully test the infrastructure modeled and generated using Spectra.

--Complete test code generated that exercises both inbound and out of bound constraints and properties applied to the waveform model, and ensures that the infrastructure responds to all data traffic and conditions in an SCA-compliant fashion. A complete test framework to exercise the SCA requirements is required to guarantee SCA compliance.

--Domain-driven debugging functionality allowing developers to associate breakpoints and specific feedback with waveform and deployment models to facilitate controlled testing and debugging processes and expedite the QA cycle.

In application 'reverse engineering':

--Generates a best case model, even from not 'well-formed' XML, and reports errors in the XML and suggests improvements. Other tools require that you get the XML formed to the tool's XML well-formed specification before that tool can generate a model, requiring editing existing waveform domain profiles repeatedly until they are accepted by the tool for model generation.

--Reverse engineers the infrastructure code from the waveform functionality, and provides forward engineering features to generate SCA-compliant infrastructure code and rebuilding the waveform functionality.

In workflow optimization (tool integration):

Spectra is built using the Eclipse Integrated Development Environment (IDE), an industry-standard launched by IBM and heavily supported with rapid adoption by the rest of the tool and application industry. The benefits of Spectra's use of Eclipse are:

--Seamless integration with other SDR development, test and deployment tools, such as Telelogic/I-Logix Rhapsody, TI Code Composer, MathWorks' MATLAB and Simulink, and RTOS tool suites like LynuxWorks Luminosity and GHS Multi IDE: All these vendors and many others offer Eclipse frameworks and or plug-ins, allowing designers and developers to collaborate in one common workspace using the variety of tools required for end-to-end SDR development.

--Integrated views from one platform of waveform and deployment modeling, build and target environments: Spectra, through Eclipse, supports multiple perspectives regarding modeling views, build environments, test environments, and other interfaces that are otherwise only accessible by moving manually to each environment's user interface, and copying code and models around manually. Spectra provides the multiple perspectives in one workspace that allow users to view different models and related code, build and design artifacts side by side.

--No other SDR development tool on the market offers this seamless integrated tool chain.

Spectra is the only SDR development suite produced for SDR engineers, by SDR engineers.

Further information about Spectra PE is available from PrismTech's website at

Notes for Editors

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 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). For additional information about PrismTech, visit the web site at

Spectra, Spectra SDR, Spectra Tools are trademarks of PrismTech. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
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Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jun 5, 2006
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