Do the implementation of your system
and its software architecture match?
Only if software architecture and design are in sync with your code you are sure that you can use the software architecture as a guide and guideline for discussing the impact of new features. That is exactly what software architecture is meant for: for the long-term targeted and planned development of your products. But it is only through an automated architecture check with Axivion Suite that the necessary conformance between architecture and implementation is really guaranteed.
Software architecture conformance checks are key to success in the long run
The use of architecture checking (also called architecture check, architecture verification, architecture compliance check, or architecture conformance check) ensures that developers and software architects do not leave the basis of the system to be developed, but build on it. The structure of the system remains clear and clean, software architecture erosion and architecture debt are made transparent and thus effectively combated.
In addition, the software architecture in safety-relevant systems itself contains safety-relevant attributes and structures and must therefore be implemented precisely in the code. Deviations from the architecture become a threat to functional safety. The software architecture conformance check effectively mitigates this threat.
Where does the architecture come from?
The architecture verification is based on the structural model of the architecture and/or design of your software. This static structure can be represented as a UML model (e.g. as a package or component diagram) or as any other form of graph structure. Thus, a textual architecture description, a sketch of the architecture, or even just the knowledge in the heads of the developers involved are also suitable starting points. The procedure for this is described below.
Axivion Suite can import software architectures from widely used UML tools such as Enterprise Architect and IBM Rational Rhapsody®. This makes it possible to link the architecture review directly and easily with the existing architecture and design processes.
For those who do not yet possess architecture documentation, Axivion Suite has options for software architecture recovery, architecture reverse engineering and architecture modelling.
Depending on the initial requirements, software architecture analysis starts with an existing semi-formal model, a documented description of the architecture or by assumptions and hypotheses about a possible architecture. This classification can be roughly described by software architecture verification, software architecture recovery and software architecture archaeology.
There are intermediate states and the goal is always to create the prerequisites for continuous software architecture verification.
Software Architecture Verification / Software Architecture Check
The Architecture Check uses an architectural description in the form of a semi-formal notation, such as provided by UML. Axivion Suite can import models and mapping information from widely used UML tools such as Enterprise Architect and IBM Rational Rhapsody® as well as from other sources e.g. AUTOSAR arxml files. In this process, the mapping information describes how the architecture can be brought into congruence with the code.
After the import, the graph of the model can be immediately compared with the graph of the implementation resulting from the code analysis of Axivion Suite. As a result, convergences occur when the model and the implementation match. With surplus relations, not implemented in the implementation in the model, absences result. Finally, in the case of superfluous relationships in the implementation, divergences occur, which then indicate problems in the code.
In an iterative process, implementation and architecture can now be brought into alignment. The architecture review must become an integral part of the CI process so that no backsliding occurs. Architecture violations that arise are thus immediately uncovered and can be discussed and resolved at an early stage. Compliance with the specified architecture in the code is thus ensured, further architecture erosion is stopped and architecture debts can be remedied via targeted refactoring measures that can be directly monitored via the results of the architecture check.
+ Download our free online seminar: “Checking Enterprise Architecture models against code”
Architecture recovery starts in a known project. At the beginning of the project there may have been architecture notations that were not maintained. New requirements and maintenance tasks have watered down this original architecture and it was also not maintained consistently.
Nevertheless, an idea of a basic architecture still exists and rudimentary fragments thereof are still available. The architecture hypothesis is now derived from these fragments and assumptions. The hypothesis is validated by comparison with the implementation and deviations are eliminated in an iterative process. Technically, the iterative process is based on the architecture checker of the Axivion Suite.
The Axivion Suite editor can be used in a lightweight way to create architecture sketches, which can then be mapped directly and interactively to the implementation, subsequently tested, and then adapted from the insights gained. These steps can be repeated until the intended architecture has been worked out as the basis for further development.
At the end, a validated architecture is available again, which enables the process of continuous architecture verification and architecture conformance checking to begin.
+ Download our free online seminar: „Software Architecture Recovery with Axivion Suite“
Software Architecture Archaeology
If you take over a project from another department or from a customer, the initial situation in architecture issues is usually far from a validated architecture.
Often the documentation is insufficient or incomprehensible and all you can do is make assumptions about a possible architecture. In principle, the approach is similar to that of architecture recovery, but in an extreme form.
The first hypothesis chosen should be as simple as possible in order to identify the large structures and also to hazard some guesses. This process can be supported by analysing the current state. The Axivion Suite shows you the actual state of your system structure, here you may already be able to recognise first patterns.
In any case, it is worth learning as much as possible about the software structure and intention in advance, so you can propose meaningful initial hypotheses. The architecture analysis of the Axivion Suite will support you here.
The Axivion Suite is a real game changer. Thanks to continuous tests, the programmers go through a learning curve, which increases acceptance of the respective architectural requirements. In this kind of software archaeology project, this clears the way for reaching Level 3 of the Automotive SPICE standard.
Director Engineering Consulting, SynSpace Group GmbH
A selection of Success Stories about architecture analysis
The complexity of automotive embedded software is further increased by software components with different ASIL requirements. With the ISO 26262 certified Axivion Suite, Schaeffler Automotive Buehl maintains the high quality of its mixed ASIL systems. Automated architecture verification reduces manual testing work and therefore creates free capacities for new developments in electromobility.
Schaeffler Automotive Buehl GmbH & Co. KG
“We have evaluated several static analysis tools, and Axivion Suite clearly stood out in our tests. The tool performed best in terms of AUTOSAR C++14 coverage and convinced us through its ease of use, control flow, and data analysis, and report generation. Axivion Suite has already become a mainstay component in our development workflow and a valuable component of our DevOps pipeline.”
Dejan Pangercic, CTO and Co-Founder of Apex.AI
“Thanks to the support during implementation and the excellent support provided by the Professional Services Team, it proved possible to integrate the Axivion Suite into our development environment quickly and easily. There are virtually no architecture violations now; instead, we have a higher standard of architecturecompliant code – across all our development teams, worldwide.”
Sven Neuberg, Software Developer Computed Tomography, Siemens Healthcare GmbH
„We exhaustively evaluated a whole range of analysis tools. The Axivion Suite has impressed us during our daily development work due to its comprehensive open functions which could readily be adapted to our needs. On top of this we benefit from the practical support provided by Axivion’s professional services team, who are there to help us during every phase of our software quality assurance.“
Dr. Stefan Staudt, Software Quality Manager, TRUMPF
„Our innovations are increasingly dependent on software. At the same time, the customer and market requirements are changing faster and faster, and the number of different versions is increasing. This calls for fast response times and the Axivion Suite helps us significantly in this respect.“
Gundolf Schmidt, Chief Engineer EPB Software System Development,
TRW Automotive GmbH
„The Axivion Suite allows the conformity of our product line architecture to be checked precisely. Thus, together with external partners, we are able to produce high-quality software that satisfies medical technology standards.“
Jens Siebert, Software Architect, Software Development for Infusion Systems,
B. Braun Melsungen AG
„A huge amount of specialist expertise has gone into our grinding software. We’ve put a lot of effort and passion into developing it, in particular its architecture and we are continuously adding further innovative features. From now on, our specialist grinding expertise will enjoy additional protection from the Axivion Suite.“
Christian Küster, Commercial Manager, Haas Schleifmaschinen GmbH
„Thanks to the Axivion Suite, we have the maintainability of our software under control, thereby safeguarding our long-term capacity for innovation.“
Thomas Stahl, Director Software Engineering, Fresenius Medical Care
„Using Axivion Suite has brought us two outstanding benefits: during its introduction, our developers grappled intensively with the architecture, which has grown up over a period of years, and we can now optimize the code in a targeted way, based on findings from the various sprints.“
Rainer Thieringer, Head of Software Development Department, TRUMPF Laser
„With the Axivion Suite, we have significantly reduced our integration effort and integration risk.“
Daniel Zimmermann, Head of OSS Software, HENSOLDT Sensors GmbH
„The Axivion Suite helps us implement our architectural concepts flawlessly. The seamless integration into our UML tool chain went without a hitch and it has made our everyday work easier.“
Thomas Kremer, Teamleader Integration & Configuration EPB Software System Development, TRW Automotive GmbH
“The Axivion Suite is a real game changer. Thanks to continuous tests, the programmers go through a learning curve, which increases acceptance of the respective architectural requirements. In this kind of software archaeology project, this clears the way for reaching Level 3 of the Automotive SPICE standard.”
Kosmas Kopmeier, Director Engineering Consulting, SynSpace Group GmbH
„The continuous architecture check ensures that we always have a reliable basis for discussion for architecture decisions. This enables us to focus on the important questions of what is a good architecture for our products.“
Dr. Tobias Frank, Head of Safety & Configuration, PHOENIX CONTACT Software GmbH
„The Axivion Suite provides us with crucial support when implementing new features in EB street director and guaranteeing the quality of our software solutions in the long term.“
Jakob Schmidt, Software Architect at Elektrobit
“From a technical perspective, the Axivion Suite won us over with all of its functions for automated code and architecture verification. However, it was the excellent support from the Axivion Professional Services Team that proved to be the key to the high level of acceptance among developers and the fast and highly productive results: the way the new tool suite was rolled out and integrated into our workflows plus the highly motivating training for everyone involved have made the suite a complete success.”
Jan Schröder, Team Leader for Software Architecture and Modules,
Jungheinrich Norderstedt AG & Co. KG
„The Axivion Suite provides us with vital support in ensuring our software quality. Its checks are not merely driven by existing standards, they even exceed the required level.“
Michael Dalpiaz, Head of Embedded Software, Dentsply Sirona
„Integration with Enterprise Architect was perfect: Finally models can be enforced without intensive visual inspection!“
Heiko Stehli, Software Architect, HENSOLDT Sensors GmbH
„The Axivion Suite is another crucial building block for quality assurance in our firmware development, particularly in terms of the increasingly strict safety and security requirements within an industrial environment.“
Christoph Kuner, M.Sc., FS Director, TR-Electronic GmbH
„When it comes to implementing our quality standards, the Axivion Suite is a major help from the perspective of integrating external suppliers.“
Stephan Drozniak, Software Development Manager for Infusion Systems,
B. Braun Melsungen AG
„The key factor for us is that the Axivion Suite has a high level of adaptability unsurpassed by any other tool suite. That is the only way we can continue meeting our own high quality standards for our intelligent sensors in an increasingly digitalised industrial environment.“
Kai Siegwart, Competence Center Software, Software Quality Assurance,
Leuze electronic GmbH & Co. KG
„We all agree that the Axivion Suite is an important module for projects with long life cycles. In future, we will use it in all of our new software projects.“
Detlev Kuschke, Executive Vice President, PHOENIX CONTACT Software GmbH