OPEES fills a gap in technology adoption of System/Software Engineering tools and components for embedded systems: It enables a larger and quicker adoption of the technology that has been developed under public and private funding as it allows to meet the operational needs of users who do want to adopt these new technologies.
Software is recognized as the key driver for innovation and business development in many domains and embedded software and systems are recognized as a fast growing part of it.
One of the characteristics of dependable Embedded Systems is that they have a very long maintenance phase.
Therefore, the long-term availability of tools and components is a mandatory requirement for most of the industrial users. When considering new technology adoption, users evaluate the continuity of service on the long run. This includes all the features that are requested to use the technology on a daily basis by industrial organizations: the product itself, the requested documentation, maintenance services, training, support services and customization.
Moreover, when we consider critical-software engineering tools, the market is even broken into smaller “niche” areas whereas higher stability of tools is required. The resulting market evolution shows the following trends:
- From the very beginning, the tools needed to develop the software at the requested dependability/productivity levels were not available on the market place, so industrial companies in Europe developed their own solutions (make) in different fields: automatic code generation, process management, test automation, etc.
- Then there was a progressive reorientation of these companies on their core competences that led to the move from “make” to “buy”. Some internal tools were transferred to software editors that industrialized them.
- Because of the massive investment required for those engineering tools for dependable systems and due to the very small distribution scale, some products are acquired by new companies several times, whereas other almost disappear.
- Some other tools remain at the stage of “academic” tools for similar reasons like the fact that they are too specialized and/or too costly for a profitable business in a very small market.
“For long-term availability of proprietary software the issue of support is critical”.
Another issue is the cost of the engineering tools.
So far, no business model based on proprietary software meet the needs of Embedded Systems developers.