The companies LDRA and Visure Solutions have completed joint work on Embed-X, an application life-cycle management system to be released tomorrow. The companies claim it is the first of its kind for the embedded software market.

LDRA, with roots in software verification, and Visure, which has its strength in requirements engineering, got together to create an ALM offering designed specifically for the needs of people creating software for systems. Embed-X brings together tools for project management, requirements engineering, SCM and testing, with an emphasis on validation and verification.

Tools in the broader ALM market place their focus in different areas than what is needed in the embedded market, according to LDRA’s Bill StClair. “In the host or generic ALM market, the emphasis is on development, with verification accounting for only about 30% of activity. In the critical embedded space, 70% to 80% of cost and effort go into verification,” he said.

The requirements of critical software development dictate that software not fail, that tools  be qualifiable and that assets be  certifiable, StClair explained. Embedded ALM also much take into account hardware platforms, tool-chain integrations, and technical objects beyond the business objectives, product requirements, SCM and defect tracking of traditional ALM.

Fernando Valera, product manager for Visure, pointed out that organizations need to do more than manage requirements. “If you’re managing bad requirements, then you’re propagating inefficiency throughout the enterprise,” he said.

“With requirements, you must have definition, capture, analysis, specification and validation.”

Organizations often face the challenge of maintaining their requirements baseline with other assets under development, Valera said. The baselines can become unwieldy and impractical to maintain. Embed-X provides an integration solution where tracking and synchronization can be done within the single repository, he pointed out.

In Embed-X, users can define the workflow required to meet the project’s technical objectives, with support for Green Hills, Wind River and other tool chains, StClair said. They can also define unique compilers and configurations.

The new solution, which is built on the Eclipse framework, offers compliance with standards for critical development, such as DO-178 and MISRA, and security standards, such as CERT C and CWE from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Embed-X is built on LDRA’s TBReq requirements tool and its TBM management layer, as well as Visure’s IQRA requirements engineering tool. But Valera said Embed-X is more than a suite of tools.

“We’re focusing on a solution, going beyond tool integration. We want to put the stress on the process and tools, not on the users,” he said.