San Bruno, CA, May 2, 2011. LDRA, the leader in standards compliance, automated software verification, source code analysis and test tools, has developed another first—requirements-to-object–code traceability. In the safety-critical domain, devices required to meet the most critical levels of certification must verify software traceability from requirements through design to code at both source- and object-code levels.By providing the most comprehensive traceability, LDRA ensures that verification problems found at the object-code level can be quickly and easily traced to the originating source code and requirements levels.
Evidence that all lines of software have been fully tested at the source- and object-code levels is becoming more important for a number of industries. DO-178C, the new avionics software standard, will soon mandate this for the most critical software, and medical and automotive industries are recognizing that this verification process is equally valuable in their environments. Discrepancies caused by compiler interpretation or program optimization can lead to code verification passing at the source level, but failing at the assembler object-code level.
Tracing the object code—also referred to as assembler code—back to the originating high-level source code is a tedious, time-consuming challenge without requirements-to-object–code traceability. LDRA pioneered requirements-to-object–code traceability to reduce the time and risk for companies developing embedded software that must meet the highest levels of safety standards.
In the past, many companies needing to meet stringent certification requirements verified their object code using in-house tools. However, with the adoption of more complex architectures, engineering teams no longer have in-house expertise on the modern architectures, nor can they afford to develop and maintain complex object-level verification tools for project-specific implementations. LDRA equips developers with the ability to review code instruction by instruction, while eliminating the cost of developing and maintaining tools in-house.
“In the medical community where 510k filings take 18 months or longer to be processed for compliance with the Medical Devices Act, there’s an understandable desire to develop, test and file for compliance as soon as possible,” commented Dr. Jerry Krasner, Principal Analyst of Embedded Market Forecasters. “Software verification tools, particularly those that automate requirements traceability to object code, provide an additional level of confidence that code has been thoroughly executed, tested against requirements and verified. Far too often, verification is a bottleneck for process completion.”
“Software whose failure can result in the loss of life quite understandably demands a more stringent level of verification,” confirmed Ian Hennell, LDRA Operations Director. “In the past, such rigor has caused companies to lose control of project budgets and deadlines. Automated traceability minimizes that risk through much improved transparency, speed of debug, test pass/fail verification, and automated documentation. It makes project management much simpler by providing the ability to pinpoint on demand what needs to be done and where any remaining problems lie.”
The importance of software verification tools is underlined in “The use of requirements management and software verification tools as part of a comprehensive medical devices development strategy,” a paper by Dr. Jerry Krasner of Embedded Market Forecasters. Copies of the paper are available on LDRA’s Web site at www.ldra.com/emf_rm-svt_2011.asp and in LDRA’s booth (#838) at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC), being held May 2–5, 2011 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, CA.
For more than 35 years, LDRA has developed and driven the market for software that automates code analysis and software testing for safety-, mission-, security- and business-critical markets. Working with clients to achieve early error identification and full compliance with industry standards, LDRA traces requirements through static and dynamic analysis to unit testing and verification for a wide variety of hardware and software platforms. Boasting a worldwide presence, LDRA is headquartered in the UK with subsidiaries in the United States and an extensive distributor network. For more information on the LDRA tool suite, please visit: www.ldra.com