The LDRA tool suite offers support for Jenkins, a continuous integration platform that automates and manages the build process for large-scale, system-level software projects. Jenkins connects the build and version control systems with quality management and automated testing. By linking the LDRA tool suite to Jenkins, the platform can invoke the LDRA tool suite to perform analysis, track test and verification fulfilment, and assess overall improvements or regressions in code quality over time.
System-level projects, common in aerospace and smart-grid development, typically bring together a global array of components and technology providers. Managing the rigors of safety-critical certification of such systems over multiyear development contracts is extremely challenging, particularly in light of tight budgets and time-to-market requirements. Automated continuous integration of platforms, such as Jenkins, Hudson and Cruise Control, constantly monitor software stability and functionality, providing more accurate and granular measurement of project status through all stages of the development life cycle. Stakeholders from system, software and verification engineers to managers and executives can then use this software quality information to improve their technical and policy decision-making process.
By integrating the LDRA tool suite with the continuous integration system, static analysis and test cases are automatically performed. When new code is added or older code altered, developers immediately know if the changes impact the underlying functionality of the code. Developers can better track improvements or regressions in code quality and functionality over time and gain deeper insight into new defects through test case validation reports and other reporting features in the LDRA tool suite.
“Managing the complexity of large-scale, safety-critical systems is horrendously difficult, particularly when development teams span many continents, languages and time zones,” confirmed Ian Hennell, LDRA Operations Director. “These continuous integration platforms strongly complement LDRA’s commitment to ease certification challenges and improve software quality. By automating the immediate analysis and test of added code, software defects are identified at their inception, saving the tremendous time and cost of identifying errors late in the development lifecycle.”
LDRA’s integration to this platform ensures that the needs of systems that must meet stringent certification criteria can be met while enjoying the increased productivity and improved software quality of a continuous integration platform. The LDRA tool suite with its ability to verify standards conformance provides the static and dynamic analysis, requirements traceability, verification, testing and automated documentation necessary for systems to become certifiable to rigorous standards such as DO-178C Level A.
In addition to tracking the progress of static analysis activities and code quality, Jenkins reporting features pull key information from LDRA’s documentation process. Details of how many test cases have passed or failed are pulled into the dashboard that provides a concise summary of team activities. When test cases fail, developers can be informed via email or a web-based interface to ensure they can take immediate corrective action. To maximise on-going development efficiency, Jenkins continues to perform activities against a changing baseline so that test regression can be performed independently from normal developer activities.
Hennell added, “Our joint solution offers companies in safety-critical markets a way to track their productivity and build process efficiently. Continuous integration platforms effectively manage product line development and the tracking of software components through the various versions, links and tests until they achieve compliance. This is an expensive process for many companies, and LDRA is proud to be able to extend yet another way to better manage the software certification challenge for large-scale, safety-critical projects.
LDRA interface with Jenkins continuous integration eases certification of large-scale systems where software stability and functionality must be monitored through global multiyear development contracts.