Taking the hard work out of software

Jul 28, 2009

Developing software is a complicated and laborious process. A new European platform automates much of the tricky building and testing phases of programming.

Computer software has come a long way. The first-ever ‘’ was a very short one written by Ada Lovelace in 1842-3 to calculate Bernoulli numbers. In the early days, programming was more often than not an individual effort carried out by enthusiasts.

Today, software development is so complex and sophisticated that entire teams work for years to develop a program. Building, testing and releasing software consumes an ever-growing amount of time and resources. According to one EU-funded project, the answer lies in the automation of these processes.

The ETICS project is taking a giant leap towards automation. “By automating many of their day-to-day tasks, the ETICS system supports software managers, developers and testers in obtaining higher quality software,” notes Alberto Di Meglio of CERN, the European organisation for nuclear research, who is managing the project. This means new software can reach the market faster and cost less in development.

No manual needed

This all-in-one solution allows , managers and users to automate as much as possible the way their software is built and the way their tests are executed. This out-of-the-box system employs the latest in “grid” software and distributed computing infrastructure and can operate on multiple platforms. It is also open source, so it can easily be customised and further developed.

The system’s client interface is designed to be simple to install. Not only can results from round-the-clock “builds” and tests be monitored via the web, the configuration metadata of the software being developed can be browsed and edited via a secured web application.

The ETICS platform has been developed in two phases (ETICS and ETICS 2) over three years and continuously refined in collaboration with users.

New functions are also being developed for ETICS 2 that will enable developers to design and run complex tests over distributed networks - a rarity even in high-end commercial test and management applications.

The ETICS 2 team is now working together with users to enhance ETICS’ interoperability testing features.

More information: www.eticsproject.eu/

Provided by ICT Results

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User comments : 5

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paulthebassguy
5 / 5 (1) Jul 28, 2009
OMG seriously, if I had a dollar for every time I have heard someone say they had a tool that automated software development.

Undoubtedly this will work well in one or two instances, but to make any piece of software that is flexible or has custom requirements will be also extremely tricky with this tool.

(sorry for sounding like a Grinch haha)
Arikin
not rated yet Jul 28, 2009
Every tool has its pros and cons. Hopefully, the cons can be worked out by the open source community.

I really like the idea of distributed networks. That way all the experience and skills of the entire multi-national company can be used. And allow around the clock work on the project thanks to timezones :-)

But this article doesn't really mention what the integrated parts are... There are metrics, resources, reports, package management, libraries, etc that any project needs.
TheBigYin
not rated yet Jul 29, 2009
This is basically a puff-piece (nay an advert) for an existing commercial product. Slapping 'open source' int he text doesn't mean this is nothing short of free advertising.
jplur
not rated yet Jul 29, 2009
I agree with the comments, this does not sound promising.

I would like a system where I can go to a website, describe the program I want to have generated in plain speech, and get a reliable result in any of the major programming languages.
stonehat
not rated yet Jul 29, 2009
Go to the site and try and find out how to start using the tool. You end up on an incomplete, poorly written, poorly structured, unusable Wiki page.

The multiple-academic-committee approach doesn't work for EU government, and it won't work for writing software that people will want to use. The only people who use this will have been ordered to, by a committee.

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