A German company, member of FieldComm Group, one of the frequent contributors to the development tools and common components for Field Device Integration (FDI) standard implementations.
FieldComm Group is a global non-profit organization consisting of leading manufacturers, universities and research organizations that work together at the implementation of communication standards for the process industries.
FDI standard was jointly developed by leading process industry foundations including FieldComm Group, PROFIBUS International, and the OPC Foundation. FDI provides a stress-free interoperability between dissimilar types of field devices suppliers and software vendors. The technology leads to the simplification of software installation, conﬁguration, maintenance, and the management of ﬁeld devices and host systems.
Our client had to implement a set of new requirements for the new release of FDI Host common components. To achieve the goal on time they decided to scale up the team and invited Applied Systems as their trusted software development partner.
Within few months our team had to:
- Get an understanding of FDI standard;
- Learn existing codebase of the FDI Common Host components package;
- Implement the requested improvements
- Provide automatic tests for the implemented functionality
For the implementation of requested changes we had to interact with 2 of FDI Host Common components:
- EDD engine – the interpreter for EDD (electronic device description) language;
- Device Model Services (DMS) – which builds information model based on the data read from EDD files and provides it to other components of the system.
The scope of work included:
- Support of EDD language extension with semantic maps in the DMS component;
- List of bug fixes and improvements for the DMS implementation.
The vital aspect of development is to ensure that the changes do not affect the existing functionality. Since FDI Host common components are used in numerous implementations of FieldComm Group members, the risk of functional changes had to be minimized. For this reason, the whole code base is fully covered with automatic tests. We had to extend this test routine for each and every feature, improvement, and update in every module.
From the very beginning the client and Applied Systems engineers worked closely together. The information exchange went very smoothly due to large experience in industrial software development on both sides. We established an agile process with daily meetings, peer reviews, regular demo sessions.
The development was split to 2 iterations. After every iteration the full functional update was delivered to the customer.
Visual studio 2015, C++, C#, unmanaged C++, NUnit (for autotests).
A vast experience in the industrial IT helped the Applied Systems’ team successfully cope with the complex technological challenge. All specified requirements were implemented and delivered on time and within the budget defined.
The team has made a tangible contribution to the evolution of FDI technology, preserving all existing functionality and maintaining high quality standards traditional for the FDI development community.