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Meeting the Challenge of Enterprise Distributed Real-Time and Embedded Systems

Douglas C. Schmidt's keynote presentation from SATURN 2012, May 7-11, 2012, St. Petersburg, FL.

Software Engineering Institute



This presentation was created for the SATURN conference series and does not necessarily reflect the positions and views of the Software Engineering Institute.

Some of the hardest problems facing researchers and practitioners are those associated with producing software for enterprise distributed real-time and embedded (DRE) systems, such as air traffic control systems, supervisory control and data acquisition systems for power grids, and joint air and space operations centers. Three trends are influencing the way that enterprise DRE systems are being conceived, constructed, and validated:

  1. Information technology of all forms is becoming highly commoditized; that is, hardware and software infrastructure generally gets better, faster, and cheaper at a relatively predictable rate.
  2. There's a growing acceptance of a network-centric paradigm, where enterprise DRE systems with a range of quality-of-service (QoS) needs are constructed by integrating separate components connected by various forms of communication services.
  3. It is prohibitively expensive to develop enterprise DRE systems using third-generation programming languages and development processes that are based wholely on manual design and coding.

The interplay of these trends has yielded new architectural concepts, services, and tools that are maturing as commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) frameworks, components, service-oriented, and model-driven engineering technologies. Despite advances in these technologies, however, key challenges must be addressed before they can be used to build the next generation of enterprise DRE systems effectively and productively. For example, software developers continue to use ad hoc means to select and compose their applications and infrastructure software due to the lack of formally analyzable and verifiable building-block components.

In this talk, I will describe emerging software and systems engineering technologies that help to specify, analyze, optimize, synthesize, validate, and deploy product lines and standards-compliant middleware platforms that can be customized for the needs of enterprise DRE systems. I will use examples from several domains to illustrate key points.

Douglas C. Schmidt, former chief technology officer at the SEI, has an extensive and diverse background as a professor and associate department chair at Vanderbilt University, chief technology officer for Zircon Computing and Prism Technologies, and author of 10 books and more than 500 technical papers on a range of software-related topics.

This content was created for a conference series or symposium and does not necessarily reflect the positions and views of the Software Engineering Institute.