Development tool and component provider Atego recently released Atego Asset Library, a Web-based software asset repository that lets developers reuse assets at design time.

The Atego Asset Library is a multiuser, scalable repository for  software engineering artifacts. “Unlike a normal configuration-management system, which is all about storage and tracking, this is more focused on reuse,” said Hedley Apperly, VP of product and marketing at Atego.

“The other thing that sets it apart is that it’s applicable at design time, so you can design in a contracted way with people designing subsystems or components.”

The whole point of reuse is to make things cheaper and quicker, Apperly said. If you’re doing that with software, that is an “after-the-event” thing, he said, something you do after you’ve done the design.

“But if you can do your reuse during design, you can get even more benefits because you’re finding things earlier in the life cycle,” Apperly said. “Developers can go into this library, find the components they need, drag them out into their diagrams, and draw their software.”

The Atego Asset Library is, according to Apperly, the first asset library that’s based on the Reusable Asset Specification (RAS) of the Object Management Group (OMG), an industry consortium. The RAS is a set of guidelines and recommendations about the structure, content and descriptions of reusable software assets. “There’s been a few prototype products from people in the market, but this is the first big launch of something based on the RAS standard,” Apperly said.

“The OMG’s goal is to provide a vendor-neutral platform for driving standards such as the Reusable Asset Specification,” said Richard Soley, CEO of the OMG. “We are excited by Atego’s implementation of the OMG RAS, enabling system and software asset reuse, particularly at ‘design time’ with UML and SysML.”

The launch of the Atego Asset Library is significant for developers, Apperly said, because this is the first asset library that adheres to the RAS and deeply integrates with the Unified Modeling Language (UML), an ISO standard overseen by the OMG. “There are a lot of UML tools. But there are not many RAS tools,” Apperly said.

“Until now, there’s been no tool that provides the integration of both UML and RAS. That’s where this is unique and first.”

As for the RAS, since it is an open standard, there’s no lock-in to Atego. “So, if you’re putting your assets in [the Atego Asset Library], you know they’ve got a future,” Apperly said.