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Mitigating the Influence of Embedded Software Development Environments and Toolsets (ESDT) on Software Architecture

: Jahić, Jasmin; Enbrecht, Peter; Mayer, Uwe; Antonino, Pablo Oliveira


IEEE International Conference on Software Architecture, ICSA 2019. Proceedings : 25-29 March 2019, Hamburg, Germany
Piscataway, NJ: IEEE, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-7281-0528-4
ISBN: 978-1-7281-0529-1
International Conference on Software Architecture (ICSA) <16, 2019, Hamburg>
Fraunhofer IESE ()
Hardware; Embedded system; Computer architecture; Software architecture; Embedded software ; Companies

One of the first tasks in engineering embedded systems is the selection of the hardware; more specifically, the MicroController Units (MCUs). This selection is driven by business, technical, organizational, and legal constraints. Often, the hardware is delivered together with proprietary environments in which the software to be deployed has to be developed. This imposes architecturally significant constraints that are usually communicated inappropriately (in terms of time and format) to the engineering team. Examples are the usage of proprietary data types and programming language constructs (e.g., macros in C) and limitations to the reuse of existing software assets. To overcome this challenge, we propose an approach that has two main constituents: (i) the Embedded System Checklist, which aims at guiding the selection of MCUs according to the architecture constraints; and (ii) the Embedded System ESDT Dependency (SED) Architecture View, which connects the software design view with the technical view, describing hardware-related development environment limitations and their influences on the software architecture. We evaluated the application of these concepts in two industrial projects and show that making these dependencies transparent saves a lot of effort during software system development.