"Ada 95 Accelerates Time to Market" is one of the three software
articles in the July/August 2000 issue of COTS magazine. It is
written by Patrick Rodenbeck, Director, Ada Business Development,
Green Hills Software.
The article is about a case study involving Vision Systems getting
their video system product to market in a timely manner. Switching
from C to Ada 95 and establishing a baseline for their key development
parameters, "the product development team realized dramatic cost
savings in debug, test time and integration due to inherent advantages
in the Ada 95 language".
One of the advantages pointed out in the article is the
standardization of Ada and the existence of a compliance suite to that
standard (as opposed to C and C++). Another advantage is the
compile-time checks that Ada performs (C and C++ do not).
Vision Systems moved from a one-person development project to a
6-person team of developers due mainly to the increased complexity of
the new system and the number of interfaces that would be developed.
C and C++ would multiply the potential for propagating invalid
parameters as opposed to Ada.
They chose Green Hills AdaMULTI development environment for the new
processor (MPC860 PowerQUICC), hosted on a Sun Unix workstation.
PVCS Tracker documented the following: it showed an improvement of
over 3-to-1 in lines per error (Ada over C, 270 to 80); 37.04 Ada
errors to 125 C errors per 10,000 lines; 20 minutes to fix Ada errors
compared to 4 hours to fix C errors; and total time to fix errors
12.35 hours for Ada compared with 500 hours for C. Underneath this
short table was the statement "Not only does Ada generate more
error-free code, but it takes less time to debug."
The company has decided to choose Ada for their next two projects,
citing reuse of these existing software packages as a major advantage.
There was a nice side-bar "What is Ada and How Does It Compare With C
(and C++)?" that gave a short comparison of Ada's advantages over C
and C++ concerning error-proneness, run-time errors, and real-time