In real-time systems, data needs to move into and out of systems—and within the system—in a deterministic, high-performance way, because in many of those systems, software failure can mean loss of life.

To help address the connection of real-time applications and their data across an enterprise, Real-Time Innovations (RTI) today introduced RTI Connext, a real-time service-oriented architecture platform to link edge systems such as small, resource-constrained devices to mission-critical IT applications.

RTI Connext tackles a problem identified by research and analysis firm Garner as IT/OT convergence (where information technology meets operational technology), according to Curt Schacker, chief commercial officer at RTI. “Operational technology and IT are constructed in different ways, with different technologies,” he said. “There’s an effort by companies to converge these systems.”

The business benefits of getting these systems integrated include real-time situational awareness and analytics, so companies can make intelligent decisions regarding such things as resource allocation, asset management, continuous security assessment and predictive maintenance, Schacker explained. Operational systems are event-driven and based on physical processes, while IT systems rely on people. He said that RTI is working to automate the integration of these systems to “remove the human element.”

RTI Connext is made up of four pieces: Connext DDS (available now) is the company’s flagship product based on the Data Distribution Service for Real-Time Systems specification that was created under the auspices of the Object Management Group.

The other pieces, due for release in March, include Connext Integrator, a real-time SOA platform into which disparate systems can be plugged. The platform “resolves the impedance mismatch between the enterprise system and the operational system,” Schacker said. “The infrastructure understands the data and tracks metadata. It’s how state information is represented in the system.”

Rounding out RTI Connext, Connext Messaging unifies messaging in an infrastructure that can allow publish/subscribe, command/response, request/reply or queuing communications, Schacker said. Connext Micro is a small-footprint messaging solution for small devices.