Engineering organizations continue to struggle keeping pace with the rate of content creation required to power many of today’s devices. One of the ways organizations have attempted to address this issue over recent years is through the use of modeling tools. While much of these tools’ original adoption centered on their ability to simplify software architecture design and documentation, their potential use cases - and benefits - can be much deeper. Modeling tools have emerged as the tools of choice to tackle a number of other complex design challenges – from algorithm design to software construction to Hardware-In-the-Loop testing. However, to date, one of the greatest mechanisms for potential efficiency gains, code generation, has been under utilized and, quite often, mistrusted.
Findings from our 2012 Software and System Development Survey suggest that this dynamic is finally changing, albeit it somewhat slowly.
While the increasing percentage of code bases attributable to code generation tools is a noteworthy and much needed shift, the conversations we’ve been having with OEMs over recent months are even more encouraging. More and more, engineering organizations are becoming comfortable using auto-generated code beyond an intermediary basis, as final production level code. It has taken time, but advancements to both the technology and developers' experience levels have finally catalyzed a depth of change and implementation that extends far beyond frequency of use alone.
Modeling tools and code generation can and will never satisfy all software and system development requirements. That said, there are still many engineering teams out there who can benefit from the adoption (and broader/deeper use) of modeling tools.
So if the existing technology has matured to a point of broad-based utility and is underutilized today, where is the next gap on which suppliers should focus? Safety-critical certified/certifiable code generation. Process standards are evolving and gaining wider adoption yet today only one modeling tool vendor, Esterel (recently acquired by ANSYS), has truly made a mark in this place and met the lofty standards required for trust and use in safety-critical markets.
Who will be next?