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Artisan C++ Real Time Design
Things are moving fast in the production of CASE tools for C++. The latest news is that they locked the gurus up in a very expensive hotel up in the mountains and told them not to come out until they had agreed upon a design methodology and a diagramming scheme. And lo they came down from the mountains with Unified Modelling Language (which is so much easier to remember than Yourdon, Hatley, Parnas, Gomaa, Booch, Jacobson, Rumbaugh).
Among other useful representations UML includes the Sequence Diagram which seems to me to provide a powerful design tool as opposed to simply a documentation aid. If we look at a design consisting of a number of objects then the Sequence Diagram (SD) shows how these objects interact (pass messages). This message passing may then change the state of the object (use a State diagram to show this). The SD has links upwards to the Specification (so called Use Cases') and downwards to the objects and their implementation in the class diagram. The pseudo code of the Use Case included in the SD should in the future provide a code skeleton for the application. If implemented using a multi task operating system such as CMX the SD also maps well to a task interaction diagram.
For those designing large object oriented programs in C++ or Visual Basic (particularly if they include complex data-bases) Select Enterprise follows the UML standard and gives both code generation and model generation from code.
But UML on it's own does not provide all the tools required by designers of Real Time Embedded applications. Artisan Software is a spin off from Select who have defined a set of real-time extensions to UML that additionally cover: The system's reaction to events, time constraints, concurrent tasks and partitioning applications across multiple processors. Documenting all of these is integrated into a single design tool.