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Workshop on Integration of Engineering Software and Systems

Ron Morrison

20-22 April 1988


This report is based on the findings of the Workshop on Tools for Integration held at the University of Leeds on 20 - 22 April 1988. The Workshop was commissioned by the Computer Facilities Technical Advisory Group (CFTAG) to make recommendations to enhance the EA5E programme in the short, medium and long term. Representatives were invited from a wide range of disciplines and organisations, both academic and commercial within the Engineering Board's sphere of influence.

The report details the objectives and recommendations of the Workshop Here the principal recommendations are summarised.

A. For Rapid Implementation

  1. Need for Education
    • A series of 1 or 2 day awareness courses on new computing techniques and developments in engineering specifically IPSEs for engineers - software development methods - standards (STEP in particular) - Ada and supporting tools for engineers
    • Alert the community through the subject committees to the need for awareness in software integration.
    • Co-operate with the subject committees on the education part of their computing awareness strategy.
    The target in these three recommendations is the applications developer. The courses may take p1ace in diverse geographical locations (1my).
  2. Assess the suitability of the PAFEC harness in engineering applications (0.25my).
  3. Evaluate one or more IPSEs for use in one or more engineering disciplines (2my).
  4. Make Ada and support tools available within EASE.
  5. Study the integration techniques that are already used in EB community (0.5my).
  6. Monitor PCTE development (0.5my).
  7. Monitor and participate in developments in data exchange .e.g. STEP, EDIF, CAD*I, IGES (0.5my).
  8. Support EDIF to manufacture and PCB fabrication (1my).

B. Longer Term Recommendation

  1. Training: CFC should set up a training advisory group to suggest to subject committees short courses and awareness projects. This group should also consider remote learning methods such as CAE. The group should also be responsible for leaising with other bodies and institutions such as BCS dnd IEE.
  2. Technology Demonstrators: A number of demonstrations of integration technology in engineering should be initiated. Such demonstrations could include Expert systems, Ada. Hypertext, object-oriented methods, AI tools, etc.
  3. Initiate the construction of a national component library. this has certain technical as well as political difficulties.
  4. Monitor parallel programming techniques and parallel architectures, such as the transputer, for inclusion in the EASE programme. If possible integrate the Transputer Initiative with the EASE programme.
  5. Purchase and evaluate SUNs Network Software Environment for inclusion in EASE. This should be evaluated against an IPSE.
  6. Fund work on the provision of mixed language environments based on standard languages.
  7. Sponsor activities which allow engineers access to other specialists e.g. the AI community at Edinburgh should be duplicated at other centres.
  8. Standards: actively participate in defining and supporting standards from design to manufacture. This should be done at a European level.
  9. Evaluate systems analysis techniques for their utility in engineering computing.
  10. Evaluate advanced programming techniques for engineering, e.g.
    • specification using VDM, Z, METOO
    • object-oriented programming
    • 4 GL's
    • and their integration
  11. Study techniques for software reuse.

C. Items from other workshops that we would like

  1. The supply of SQL and a relational database with EASE.
  2. Standard U.I. facilities for engineering.

D. Future Workshops

Not more than once every two years.