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Jul 19, 2011

MTU Friedrichshafen Mandates QA-C to Achieve High Quality and Safety-Related Software

PRQA | Programming Research announces that MTU Friedrichshafen has made the use of QA-C mandatory for the development of software for the company's high performance diesel engine control units.

MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH, (part of Tognum Group) manufactures a wide range of high performance diesel engines for ships and locomotives as well as for emergency power use and for continuous power plants. The company has a history of innovation and is a leader in the application of electronics to diesel engine management and control.

"Coding standards are a very important aspect of implementing a design," says Dr. Jörg Barrho, Project Manager. "We have developed our own coding guidelines for the C language, and QA-C allows us to quickly and efficiently verify that new code meets these guidelines. The tool also enables us to set up code metrics so that we can track code implementation."

"What set QA-C apart from other tools in the market," continued Dr. Barrho, "was that we could easily adapt and expand it in relation to our own coding rules. It is also a recognised tool for use in developing safety-related systems."

MTU sees QA-C not just as a tool for checking new code, but as an intrinsic part of the overall programme of improving code quality through the product life cycle. In the company's view, creating good quality code makes it easier to carry out source code maintenance, to fix any problems that may arise and to adapt code for new uses.

Within MTU there is a philosophy that source code is not the personal property of an individual, but a resource for all to use. For this to happen safely and efficiently requires code to have common features and language elements. Coding guidelines provide the mechanism for this to happen and QA-C provides verification that these guidelines are being followed.

The technical competence of PRQA and its German partner, QA Systems, as well as the sophistication of the QA-C tool, eased the introduction of this important technology. QA-C is now integrated into the development environment, as an important part of the tool ecosystem. MTU stresses that successful implementation of software tools requires that developers accept their use through understanding their value.

MTU has now made static analysis mandatory in the software development process, for software designs that need to meet safety requirements, to ensure that new code is of high quality and to ensure that future development can reuse code with confidence.

Established in 1986, PRQA is recognised throughout the industry as "the coding standard expert." PRQA pioneered coding standard inspection and now delivers its expertise through industry-leading software inspection and standards enforcement technology, worldwide. PRQA has corporate offices in UK, USA, India, Ireland and The Netherlands, complemented by a worldwide distribution network.

PRQA's industry-leading tools, QA-C and QA-C++, offer the closest possible examination of C and C++ code. Both contain powerful, proprietary parsing engines which deliver high fidelity language analysis and comprehension. They identify problems caused by language usage that is dangerous, overly complex, non-portable, or difficult to maintain. Plus, they include the basic building blocks for coding standard enforcement.