Development-tools supplier Telelogic AB is upgrading its high-end tools so developers can start testing software earlier and more thoroughly in the development process.
The Swedish company is a supplier of high-end development tools that are used by Nokia, Ericsson, and other telecommunications providers, as well as Boeing, General Motors, and DaimlerChrysler. In its next release, slated for June 17, Telelogic is concentrating on integrating the different roles in software development, from business analysts to system architects and designers to developers and testers, through better integration of its tools.
The designs and code produced by Telelogic TAU can be matched against the system requirements captured and managed in Telelogic Doors. Testers can generate tests and link them to the requirements through the greater synchronization between Doors and TAU. As a result, testers will be able to determine whether a particular code segment is living up to its expected function and performance, without waiting for both manual and extensive system testing closer to the end of the development cycle.
"Spotting imperfections early is cheaper than capturing them later," when they may be part of a system that has many dependencies on the erroneous code already built in, says Paul Zorfass, analyst with IDC. Purging such bugs becomes expensive because many things need to be changed instead of just the code containing the bug. In some cases, code with glitches has been moved into production, leading to administrative time and possible outages as the problem is dealt with there, he says.
In both the requirements capture and modeling stages, Telelogic tools capture information in the form of Unified Modeling Language diagrams. TAU supports the UML testing profile, or a set of definitions and tests for a particular model segment. UML is a modeling syntax and notation system used for requirements capture and system modeling.
The upcoming synchronized version of Telelogic's tools will be called Telelogic Lifecycle Solutions. It will be to connect developed code "back to the requirements through the model," says Matthew Graney, VP of product management, modeling, and test products.
A third tool, Telelogic Synergy, used for code change and configuration management, will be synchronized with TAU and Doors and will be part of Telelogic Lifecycle Solutions.
With the enhanced tools, a designer's software model can be tested for validity as well as finished code. By examining the model, testers can hunt for perpetual loops or violations of known best practices before they become embedded in newly developed code, Graney says.
"Telelogic products are associated with telecommunications. Telecommunications systems have enormous test requirements associated with them" because they need to be installed and then run without staff on hand to troubleshoot software problems, Zorfass explains. Telecommunications hardware and software requires testing for as many conceivable circumstances under which something might go wrong as possible, he says.
Testers will be able to test for both function (does the code do what it was designed to do?) and performance (can it be run as part of a complex system without incurring unnecessary delays and performance hits?), Graney says.
Testing frequently involves running code with many of the variables it might encounter and examining the results to make sure expectations are met. Such a sequence is called a trace, and the upgraded Telelogic Lifecycle Solutions can capture traces and reuse them, if the code changes or a new set of variables needs to be tested.