90 posts categorized "Software and System Modeling Tools"

06/16/2014

PTC Acquires Atego, Broadens ALM Support for Product Development

What happened?

PTC (NASDAQ: PTC) announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Atego, a leading developer of model-based systems and software engineering applications based in the UK, for $50 million in cash. The transaction is expected to be completed in PTC’s fiscal fourth-quarter 2014, which begins in July. According to PTC’s press release, Atego had approximately $20 million in revenue over the course of the past 12 months, and the company expects it will achieve approximately $5 million in revenue from Atego in PTC’s fiscal fourth-quarter 2014.

VDC’s View

Several recent acquisitions by PTC have targeted services lifecycle management (SLM). The combination of PTC’s SLM portfolio and their IOT capabilities through ThingsWorx provides an impressive depth and breadth of solutions for extending customer relationships post-deployment.

This newest addition of modeling tools from Atego strengthens PTC’s portfolio of product lifecycle management and application lifecycle management solutions and helps reinforce a systems engineering focus. Atego’s Model-Based Systems Engineering solutions connects requirements engineering, architecture modeling, physical product definition, and system verification functions.

Today’s smart, connected products depend on the tight integration of sophisticated components from multiple engineering domains, raising the value proposition of increased cross-discipline coordination and communication. The combination of Artisan Studio from Atego with their existing tooling portfolio enables PTC to offer solutions that help their customers increase efficiency and product standardization in embedded industries where increasingly connected products are created from systems of complex mechanical, electrical, and software systems.

Stay tuned here for further insight in the coming days.

VDC will be exploring these and other trends in greater depth within our upcoming Software & System Lifecycle Management Tools research program.  Please contact us for additional information.

 

By Patrick McGrath, (Research Assistant, M2M & Embedded Technology) and Andre' Girard (Senior Analysis, M2M & Embedded Software)

07/29/2013

Agile2013: VDC Research is heading to Nashville - Music City!

The M2M Embedded Software team is excited to be heading to Nashville to attend Agile2013 (#agile2013). The growing adoption of Agile methodologies is one of the most important developments in the software lifecycle management solution market since VDC started covering it in 2000.

Agile2013 banner
Despite origins in the enterprise/IT software development world, iterative software development methods have also taken hold in the embedded market. In fact, nearly 50% of embedded engineers we surveyed in 2012 used Agile and Iterative methods.

As embedded systems continue to evolve, organizations still relying on traditional development methodologies are struggling to keep pace with their software content creation demands. Many of these OEMs are accustomed to the traditional, serial development workflows especially common within safety-critical application classes. However, updates to several software standards, such as DO-178C, have provided the embedded industry with better clarification and more guidelines around the new development techniques. As a result of these pressures and advances, we expect iterative development methodologies will continue to gain new adherents in the embedded market.

 

Hope to see you there

If you want to learn about the latest Agile approaches, methods, technologies, tools, leadership principles, management philosophies and processes, we hope you will attend Agile2013. Also, please check out some of our free research on Agile, DevOps, and software development tools.

Contact us ASAP to schedule a meeting

VDC will be attending the Agile2013 conference Monday, August 5th and Tuesday, August 6th.

Contact André Girard, Sr. Analyst, M2M Embedded Software & Tools at:

agirard@vdcresearch.com or 508.653.9000 x153.

We look forward to seeing you at the show!

 

ABOUT VDC RESEARCH GROUP

VDC Research is the leading M2M market intelligence firm that provides engineering leaders and technology suppliers with research-driven insights to help guide their product development and technology strategies. For over two decades, VDC Research has been conducting research and analysis of the global M2M market. Born out of its embedded engineering research practice, VDC Research surveys and interacts with thousands of engineers from all vertical markets including industrial automation, retail, manufacturing and medical devices, to gain insight into their project requirements, solution selection criteria, preferences and trends. 

Based on a unique blend of quantitative and qualitative analysis that offer granularity and breadth of coverage, VDC is organized around four practice areas, each with its own focused area of coverage. Together, they enable a unique 360-degree perspective of the opportunities and challenges resulting from The Internet of Things and M2M.

For more information visit: www.vdcresearch.com

06/26/2013

Controlling In-Vehicle Innovation with IVI Design

Automotive differentiation is no longer driven by gears and grease. Electronic systems now control most aspects of a vehicle’s operation and the software within those systems has risen to account for an increasing share of their functionality and differentiation. Today, software content growth in the automotive industry continues to outpace most other embedded device classes. In no automotive sector is this trend more acute than in IVI.

Ivi ibm

The culture of conservatism, rooted in automotive’s safety-critical requirements, that has traditionally characterized the domain must adapt. The recent financial crisis imposed an unparalleled catalyst for such change. Entire supply chains followed the OEM leads into bankruptcy. The remaining engineering organizations, many of which lacked the level of development resources they had prior to the financial crisis, are being forced to reevaluate their incumbent development processes and tools in an effort to keep pace with the unabated growth in consumer expectations. In many cases, OEMs must be prepared to adopt new software development solutions to adequately address the complexities of UI design and consumer device integration.

VDC will be conducting a live webcast with IBM and Jaguar Land Rover on June 27th to discuss this emerging trend. Attendees will learn:

  • How open source technologies will impact tomorrow's automotive ecosystem
  • Why OEMs need to revisit their supply-chain strategies to promote new levels of collaboration  and innovation
  • What new development solutions should be considered to adapt

When: June 27th, 11:00am ET / 2:00pm PT

Register: http://bit.ly/136NjqJ

05/22/2013

Hardware-in-the-Loop: Not Just for Auto & Aerospace

Hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) is a simulation technique that allows for the rapid development and testing of intricate, real-time control systems.  Since such testing can be done without the creation of a physical prototype, HIL reduces product-related development costs and time-to-market, while increasing the overall quality and reliability of embedded control systems.  Given the relative complexity of developing a HIL platform, this technology has traditionally been relegated to the development of capital-intensive equipment in the automotive and aerospace industries.  However, the energy industry has recently taken notice of the benefits of HIL.

With global concerns stemming from the pollution emitted by coal burning power plants, wind power has quickly become an attractive alternative to traditional energy production.  State and federal governments have recently increased their efforts in assisting energy companies research more efficient ways of developing new wind turbines.  Enter – hardware-in-the-loop technology.  Producers of wind power have begun utilizing HIL to test their turbine control systems in real-time.  In fact, National Instruments, a leading supplier of test, measurement, and control systems, is currently partnering with Siemens Wind Power, a world-renowned wind turbine manufacturer.  Siemens is leveraging National Instruments’ LabVIEW, an HIL application platform, to develop its own HIL simulator for the testing of turbine control system software.

Using LabVIEW, Siemens can test and simulate mechanical (wind speed, blade pitch) and electrical (voltage, current) variables, among others, on its control systems.  Performing these kinds of simulations during the development stage offers design engineers the ability to tweak and optimize the control system software.  Engineers can then apply the same code used in the HIL simulation process towards the development of the control units of the actual turbine.

With the increasing emphasis on wind energy expected in the near future, the ability of HIL technology to reduce time-to-market while increasing dependability will be a boon to wind turbine manufacturers worldwide.

More insight

For further investigation and discussion about the emerging trends in the HIL landscape, and other important shifts in systems lifecycle management, please see our 2012 Software & Systems Lifecycle Management Tools Market Intelligence Service. 

 

Guest authored by Dan McGowan, Research Assistant at VDC Research

03/29/2013

ALM Connect Executive Day and EclipseCon, March 2013

ALM CONNECT EXECUTIVE DAY

VDC was excited to attend the ALM Connect Executive Day, which was run in parallel to EclipseCon 2013 in Boston this week. The objective of the executive day, to provide a platform for software delivery executives to discuss modern ALM practices in the context of business problems, is tightly aligned to our Software & System Lifecycle Management Tools research.

The day brought together leaders from ALM suppliers, ISVs and consulting firms to discuss how ALM is evolving in response to the changing software delivery environment. The M2M Embedded Software team investigates many of the same questions ALM Connect aimed to answer such as:

  • How does ALM work in the world shifting from 'Systems of Record' to systems of engagement?
  • How does SaaS, Mobile and open source change ALM?
  • What does Agile mean to ALM?
  • What does complex sourcing do to ALM?

Among the ALM Connect Executive Day highlights:

 “What ALM knowledge you can expect from Computer Science Graduates” with Gary Pollice, Professor of Practice, WPI Computer Science Department. A great description about what you should look for in a recent computer science graduate and, more importantly, why.

“Managing Complex Supply Chains with ALM” with Mik Kersten, CEO, Tasktop. Mik demonstrated how Tasktop is helping large corporations work through the mess they’ve made of their development lifecycle through piecemeal tool adoption at team levels, corporate expansion, mergers and other realities of business as usual.

 “Scrum - Success Ends with Middle Management” with Ken Schwaber, the Co-creator of Scrum and CEO of Scrum.org. Ken stressed the importance of individuals and interactions over processes and tools as organizations look to create more agility. Also presented was the “Agility Index”, a means to track progress towards of process improvement goals.

“Future of ALM Panel” with Sam Guckenheimer, MS Visual Studio; Jeffery Hammond, Forrester Research; Raziel Tabib, HP; Mik Kersten, Tasktop; Mike O'Rourke, IBM Rational. The panel gave us a lively discussion on a number of topics including developer resistance to change, estimates on the enterprise ALM market size, and ongoing heterogeneity and integration challenges of ALM.

More information on ALM Connect Executive Day can be found here.

 

ECLIPSECON BOSTON 2013

We also made time to visit some booths and sit in on a few presentations of EclipseCon.

The focus of the open source Eclipse community is software development tools as well as the intersection of tools, process, and new business models. As more and more organizations view their ability to manufacture software as a competitive advantage, ALM is becoming a vital business process.

Among the EclipseCon highlights:

CollabNet’s Laszlo Szalvay presentation, "Making Agile ALM Work in Regulated Industries”:  The discussion focused on some of the uncertainty towards Agile that remains in highly regulated industries such as Finance, Telecommunications, Pharmaceuticals and Government. VDC sees the same concerns about control and increased developer autonomy in the embedded industry. Likewise, we share the opinion that Agile can succeed in these industries with the use of the right processes and tools.

The session entitled, “High Quality Agile - Incorporating Quality into Your Agile Process and Organization Means Working Faster and Smarter,” by Lorinda Brandon of SmartBear Software. Lorinda outlined some best practices for maintaining high quality as an organization moves towards a continuous software delivery business model.

More information on EclipseCon 2013 Boston can be found here.

 

About VDC Research Group                                       

VDC Research Group (VDC) provides market research and advisory services to the world's top technology executives. Our clients rely on us to provide actionable insights to support their most important strategic decisions. The firm is organized around four practices, each with its own focused area of coverage including: automatic identification and data collection, embedded hardware, embedded software and enterprise mobility.

Our market research is the basis for the many ways that VDC can help our clients to grow their business. We offer a range of services designed to meet their specific corporate development, opportunity assessment and lead generation needs. Founded in 1971, the firm is located in the Boston area. Please visit our Web site at www.vdcresearch.com to learn more.

VDC has been providing embedded systems market intelligence for over 20 years.

03/28/2013

Model That MIMO

Wireless networks have been pressed to rapidly evolve as ever greater numbers of subscribers utilize mobile devices to transmit an increasing volume of data. In fact, Cisco projects the number of mobile-connected devices, driven by a combination of personal devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) applications, will exceed the world’s population by the end of this year and that mobile data traffic will expand at a CAGR of 66% through 2017.

Technologies such as Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) and other multiple antenna techniques have emerged in response to this increased demand for wireless network throughput. MIMO systems employ multiple antennas at both the transmitter and receiver end of the communication system. This approach considerably improves performance, providing higher data rates while maintaining spectral efficiency. However, a price paid for these advances is greater system complexity facing embedded engineers tasked with designing the networks.

Accurate design of the wireless communications channel is key to optimizing network system performance. This requires consideration of a large number of variables and is a challenge well suited to software-based modeling tools. VDC Research has spoken with leading suppliers of commercially available modeling tools as we update our coverage of Software and System Lifecycle Management solutions for 2013. These conversations have revealed a growing interest in system design tools within the communications market.

Suppliers are responding to this demand. For example this week, MathWorks announced software enhancements to the Phased Array System Toolbox and SimRF to enable wireless communications and radar system designers to speed up modeling and simulation within the MATLAB and Simulink environments. Going forward, telecommunications engineers will increasingly leverage software and systems modeling tools as they design the complex next-generation networks of tomorrow.

More insight                                     

For immediate access to further investigation and discussion about software and systems modeling tools, please see our 2012 Software & Systems Lifecycle Management Tools Market Intelligence Service. The M2M Embedded Software team at VDC is in the process of updating this research for 2013. The 2013 Software & System Modeling Tools volume will be available in the next couple of weeks. 

03/18/2013

VDC to Present Embeddy Awards Live at Design West

Want to see the latest technologies and tricks for embedded engineering? Head to Design West next month in San Jose, CA!

Contact us ASAP to schedule a meeting

VDC will be attending the Design West/ESC conference from Tuesday April 23 through Thursday April 25.

At the show, we will be presenting our 9th annual Embeddy Awards. The winners will be announced Live during Thursday's morning keynote session.

So how can your company win the Embeddy award?

To be considered,

First, fill out this on-line form: http://svy.mk/WU0abA

You must also schedule a meeting with VDC to discuss the announcement that you are making at the show. You can arrange a meeting time with VDC by doing one of the following:

For Software and Tools related meetings

Contact Jared Weiner, Analyst, M2M Embedded Software & Tools at:
jweiner@vdcresearch.com or 508.653.9000 x143.

For Hardware related meetings

Contact David Laing, Senior Analyst, M2M Embedded Hardware Platforms at:
dlaing@vdcresearch.com or 508.653.9000 x146.

Haven't decided if you're attending DESIGN West yet?

Please check out the DESIGN West website for more information on the conference program as well as
information on all of the companies that will be exhibiting. You can also click here to register.

We look forward to seeing you at the show!

12/28/2012

It Gets Better

The same end-of-one-year reflection that inspired our embedded software Top 12 of 2012 (part 1 and part 2), encouraged us to take a look back at a metric we continue to track: schedule performance.

In VDC’s 2012 developers survey, 35.3% of the respondents said their current project was behind schedule. Just last year over 40% reported schedule slippage. So perhaps 35% is an improvement; but it’s hardly a statistic worth boasting. With an average of twenty five embedded engineers per project, any delay can be detrimental to development budgets, not to mention the reputational damage.

Despite an understanding that adherence to schedule is crucial to project success and that management should focus on ensuring execution conforms to it, on-time delivery difficulties persist. In order to get the maximum benefit from minimal effort through the full development lifecycle, engineering organizations need to optimize the efficiency and accuracy of their team and resources.

The good news is our research suggests the schedule adherence improvement of this past year may be the start of a trend rather than an anomaly. We see more and more engineering firms applying the right tools, methodologies, and processes.

Some of our findings showing potential for improved schedule performance include:

  • Embedded suppliers continue to make functional improvements to the software and systems lifecycle management (SSLM) tools they offer. Beyond these advances, there is broader use of SSLM solutions by developers which offers several potential benefits. For example, effective requirements management solutions help avoid misunderstanding and unrealistic expectations while modeling tools can encourage greater code reuse.
  • There is increased adoption of Agile methodologies both in full adherence to the methodology and in a hybrid approach combining iterative aspects with elements from other methods.
  • Improving efficiency in the development of today’s devices which often require a tight coupling of electrical, mechanical, and software elements requires an evaluation of processes across project boundaries. This reinforces the potential benefits of cross-domain engineering integration, which we see is increasing.

These trends are encouraging. Our findings have shown that organizations using SSLM tools are more successful in meeting deadlines. Likewise, less developers using Agile methods (28.8%) or investigating cross-domain integration (26.2%) report being behind schedule than the average for the industry at large (35.3%.)

If embedded suppliers continue to improve their offerings and provide the support to make sure they are implemented appropriately, perhaps our 2013 findings will confirm the schedule improvement value of these solutions.

10/30/2012

The Embedded Software Beat

A Q&A with Stefan Skarin, Chief Executive Officer, IAR Systems Group AB.

This interview is the fourth in a series that we look to conduct during the course of 2012 with embedded software solution providers to share their views on their company, products, and state of the market.

VDC was fortunate to catch up with Mr. Skarin in advance of the ARM TechCon where IAR Systems will be announcing and demonstrating new products.

VDC: IAR Systems is a long-time supplier of software development solutions to the embedded market.  Can you briefly introduce the company to our readers? Iarsystemslogo

Skarin: IAR Systems was founded in 1983 and actually launched the world's first C compiler for the 8051 microprocessor. Since, we have grown from a local Swedish company to a global player with ten offices all over the world, and 14,000 customers in all industries. We have developed more C and C++ compilers than any other company in the embedded industry, and I would say we have accumulated a unique understanding of embedded developers’ needs. We are proud to support the market's widest range of architectures, and we are continuously enhancing our products and adding new functionality that we believe developers will benefit from. Our suite of development tools for embedded applications is called IAR Embedded Workbench and provides a complete set of C/C++ compiler and debugger tools.

VDC: What are the challenges engineers face today in designing and developing embedded devices and how are embedded software suppliers responding?

Skarin: Embedded systems are becoming more and more complex, and at the same time the time to market for new products is becoming more and more crucial. These factors create needs for simplified, flexible workflows. Companies are streamlining their development to avoid delays, and of course also to maximize the return on investment. So basically, developers need to get up and running quickly, and work faster, as the same time as their assignments are becoming more complicated. We are aiming to supply tools that are easy to use, while at the same time offer high performance and advanced functionality. To have the ability to reuse code can also help increase productivity. It is also important for software suppliers to simplify integration between tools and systems. Whether or not the supplier is able to offer you technical support when and where you need it, to help you keep production going according to schedule, is of course also a major differentiator.

VDC: Power consumption is a critical design objective for battery operated embedded devices. How do IAR software development solutions help developers improve and manage battery life?

Skarin: This is an area where I believe software suppliers have a major role to play, and we are putting a lot of effort into helping developers minimize power consumption. A couple of years ago, we introduced our innovative Power debugging technology. This technology provides software developers with information about the power consumption in their specific application. The information is coupled to the source code and enables the developers to find any power spikes, and to test and tune the application for power optimization. Earlier this year, we launched the debug probe I-jet, which enables even more refined power measurements.

To have highly optimized code is a great way to minimize power consumption. Our compiler creates extremely compact code that runs fast and saves on the power needed to complete the tasks. We have worked extensively with compiler optimization technology for several years, but we are still able to further tweak this, and are continuously trying to beat our own records.

VDC: Today’s embedded systems have grown increasingly complex and software is coming to define a greater portion of the end product value. What’s your view on the use of modeling tools within the product development lifecycle to help engineering organizations manage this complexity?

Skarin: I believe we will see more of modeling tools as systems keep gaining in complexity. As I mentioned before, it will be even more important for software suppliers to offer extensive possibilities for integration between tools, for example modeling tools. The entire development workflows need to be well-connected and interaction between different tools need to be seamless and easy to work with.

IAR Systems supplies the state machine toolset IAR visualSTATE. It is based on a subset of the Unified Modeling Language (UML) and is used to design, test and implement embedded applications based on state machines.

VDC: In safety critical applications, regulations and compliance requirements are driving the need for increased use of automated test tools to ensure code reliability and quality. How do IAR Systems software development solutions assist developers in meeting regulatory and compliance requirements?

Skarin: We have many customers working with safety-critical applications, mainly within the medical and automotive industries. Our tools comply with industry standards and we use several commercial, and in-house developed test suites to make sure we conform to the standards. IAR Embedded Workbench features automatic checking of MISRA-C rules to ensure compliance during development, and also performs type checking during the linking process and runs extensive diagnostics, which ensures the reliability of the generated code. Our tools are also well integrated with test platforms supplied by companies such as Parasoft, LDRA, PRQA, and VectorCAST.

VDC: If you were to take a look a look into your crystal ball, how do see the opportunities for the embedded software market shaping up for 2013?

Skarin: The number of embedded devices is growing rapidly, and that gives a good potential. For us, the focus is on supplying the tools that the market needs. I see those tools as being able to handle complex applications, while ensuring safety and reliability of the code. The need for low power consumption is of course highly relevant during 2013, and I expect that all software suppliers will need to do even more in this area.

VDC: Thank you Stefan.

Interested in participating in VDC’s “The Embedded Software Beat” series of interviews? Please reach out and let us know.

Stefan Skarin was appointed CEO of Nocom Drift, now IAR Systems Group AB, in 2000 after Stefan Skarinestablishing an outstanding track record of sales and corporate development in the IT software industry. In 2003, Mr. Skarin turned Nocom around from bankruptcy to its best profit in 20 years. He went on to double the company’s profit year over year in both 2004 and 2005, and Nocom became the best share and best IT share at Stockholm Nasdaq. In 2005, he acquired IAR Systems and, in reshaping the focus of IAR Systems as a leading provider of software for programming embedded systems processors, Mr. Skarin made 24 acquisitions and investments in Europe.

Mr. Skarin consistently focuses on achievement. During his first year as CEO of IAR Systems, he grew the company by 22 percent, and the company experienced its best-ever sales year in 2010 across all four regions. In 2011, IAR Systems grew 26 percent and achieved record profits.  This year, IAR Systems boasts the greatest share growth in the IT sector so far in 2012.

Mr. Skarin started his career at Ericson Mobile in 1985 when the Ericson mobile phone was launched. He moved on to Oracle Nordic starting out as the finance director, and then moving on to accomplish an impressive number of sales achievements. He was Finance Director in 1987, and became CEO of Oracle Spain in 1991, where he led a major company restructuring. At 29 years old, Mr. Skarin became the youngest CEO in Oracle when he became CEO of Oracle Eastern Europe in 1992. During his tenure there, he reached the highest quota in the company –22 MUSD – and established Oracle in four countries in Eastern Europe.

After Oracle, Mr. Skarin served as CEO for Interleaf Nordic and then worked as Sales Director at Adobe, where he established Adobe Finland. His successful sales accomplishments resulted in two personal awards for the two biggest global deals in Adobe’s history.

Mr. Skarin has served on the board of the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL) in Sweden for three years, global SoL for two years, and he is a founding member of Academy for Change. Mr. Skarin has also had a number of speaking engagements with organizations including Save the Children International and World Wildlife Fund International in United States, Europe and Asia Pacific.

09/30/2012

Are Modeling Tools Finally Generating Some Trust?

Engineering organizations continue to struggle keeping pace with the rate of content creation required to power many of today’s devices. One of the ways organizations have attempted to address this issue over recent years is through the use of modeling tools. While much of these tools’ original adoption centered on their ability to simplify software architecture design and documentation, their potential use cases - and benefits - can be much deeper. Modeling tools have emerged as the tools of choice to tackle a number of other complex design challenges – from algorithm design to software construction to Hardware-In-the-Loop testing. However, to date, one of the greatest mechanisms for potential efficiency gains, code generation, has been under utilized and, quite often, mistrusted.

Findings from our 2012 Software and System Development Survey suggest that this dynamic is finally changing, albeit it somewhat slowly. Code generation 2012 2008

While the increasing percentage of code bases attributable to code generation tools is a noteworthy and much needed shift, the conversations we’ve been having with OEMs over recent months are even more encouraging. More and more, engineering organizations are becoming comfortable using auto-generated code beyond an intermediary basis, as final production level code. It has taken time, but advancements to both the technology and developers' experience levels have finally catalyzed a depth of change and implementation that extends far beyond frequency of use alone.

Modeling tools and code generation can and will never satisfy all software and system development requirements. That said, there are still many engineering teams out there who can benefit from the adoption (and broader/deeper use) of modeling tools.

So if the existing technology has matured to a point of broad-based utility and is underutilized today, where is the next gap on which suppliers should focus? Safety-critical certified/certifiable code generation. Process standards are evolving and gaining wider adoption yet today only one modeling tool vendor, Esterel (recently acquired by ANSYS), has truly made a mark in this place and met the lofty standards required for trust and use in safety-critical markets.

Who will be next?