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Real-Time and Embedded Systems Forum Meeting Summary

by Andrew Josey <>

Andrew Josey is the director, server platforms, for The Open Group in Reading, England, and the chair of the Austin Group.

The inaugural meeting of The Open Group Real-Time and Embedded Systems Forum took place on June 27-28, 2000, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas. It was attended by 70 individuals from 50 different organizations.

The objective of this Forum was to bring suppliers, users, and existing industry standards groups together to accelerate the proliferation of realtime and embedded systems through the development of test and certification programs.

Key speakers from the realtime industry attended the meeting, outlining current trends in the industry and providing input to the Forum work plan. These included representatives from the following organizations: Boeing (Richard Paine), Wind River (John Fogelin), QNX (Steve Furr), FSMLabs (Victor Yodaiken), LynuxWorks (Mitch Bunnell), Venturcom (Myron Zimmerman), NCITS-R1 (Russ Richards), US Army (Bill Protzman), Mitre Corporation (Doug Jensen), OS JTF (Lt. Col. Glenn Logan, Curtis Royster, Jr.), The Aerospace Corp. (Sam Bowser), TimeSys (Mark Gerhardt), UDI Project/Interphase (Kevin Quick), Mitre/OMG (Dave Emery) and The Open Group (Dave Lounsbury).

The concept of the Real-Time and Embedded Systems Forum as a meeting place for coordination among suppliers, practitioners, and existing industry standards groups was firmly established at this meeting. Industry groups identified to work with, and represented at the inaugural meeting, included IEEE PASC, The Society of Automotive Engineers, The Object Management Group, NCITS-R1, and the UDI Project.

Prior to the meeting and included with the meeting materials was a prospectus for the Forum. During the meeting, subgroups were formed to validate the proposals in the prospectus and positions put forward by the champions, and to propose further action by the Forum.

The breakout groups validated that the following key areas are clearly problems where work needs to be done:

  • Testing and certification for realtime systems and applications, and possibly performance measurement and testing. The scope includes POSIX profiles, and possibly CORBA.
  • New ways to specify behavior. Work is needed in the area of API specification to indicate application realtime requirements to the implementations and to indicate to applications the realtime performance of implementation-supplied components. This could include the definition of parameters in the API itself, such as a time/resource constraint for completing an operation and operations to query components on the realtime performance they offer.
  • Security for realtime and embedded systems. The intersection of security requirements with realtime and embedded systems requirements needs to be better defined, for example how do you handle audit logs on an embedded system with no filesystem or network?

The next steps are the formation of a steering committee and working groups for each activity. There needs to be agreement on specific working groups to address key topics.

The Open Group will analyze the output from the meeting and, working with the founding members of the Forum, will propose a forward work plan. Statements of work for each area will be drafted, and subgroups should meet either face to face or by teleconference before the next plenary.

The next plenary meeting is in Washing-ton during the week commencing Oct-ober 23, 2000.

For more information on the Forum, see <>.


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