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Workflow-Based Software Development Environment

The Software Developer’s Assistant (SDA) helps software teams more efficiently and accurately conduct or execute software processes associated with NASA mission-critical software. SDA is a process enactment platform that guides software teams through project-specific standards, processes, and procedures. Software projects are decomposed into all of their required process steps or tasks, and each task is assigned to project personnel. SDA orchestrates the performance of work required to complete all process tasks in the correct sequence. The software then notifies team members when they may begin work on their assigned tasks and provides the tools, instructions, reference materials, and supportive artifacts that allow users to compliantly perform the work.

A combination of technology components captures and enacts any software process use to support the software lifecycle. It creates an adaptive workflow environment that can be modified as needed. SDA achieves software process automation through a Business Process Management (BPM) approach to managing the software lifecycle for mission-critical projects. It contains five main parts: TieFlow (workflow engine), Business Rules (rules to alter process flow), Common Repository (storage for project artifacts, versions, history, schedules, etc.), SOA (interface to allow internal, GFE, or COTS tools integration), and the Web Portal Interface (collaborative web environment).

The advantages of automating the software process using SDA are:

• Software systems are delivered faster, less expensively, with fewer defects, and requiring fewer highly skilled personnel.
• Portal-based collaboration allows large geographically dispersed teams to work in concert via a simple and consistent Web interface.
• A portal allows individuals to customize their views of the software project/ process based on their project role.
• Electronic task handoffs improve overall team efficiency.
• Tedious and clerical work are automated.
• Highly skilled personnel spend more time on their areas of expertise instead of in processing paperwork.
• Greater project management visibility through real-time status, dashboard views, alerts, and reports gives users more time to avert problems or react to new events.
• Complete audit trail for all events in - volving the project, process, and associated people.
• Process is treated as an IT asset, making it possible to modify and optimize the process.
• Faster ROI than manual implementation.

This work was done by Michel E. Izygon of Tietronix Software, Inc. for Johnson Space Center. MSC-24424-1

This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).

Workflow-Based Software Development Environment (reference MSC-24424-1) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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