The essential aim of the Atego Asset Library is to allow you to design systems in the same way as you build them using a model-based systems-engineering tool such as Artisan Studio. This is "new development" because it moves conventional development up a level. It means thinking in terms of "systems of systems" and of building your systems out of re-usable assets - where the assets can be high-level design models (for maximum return on your investment in modelling and reuse) or physical devices; as well as code components.
Although the Atego Asset Library integrates well with Atego's Artisan Studio, it is intended to be tool-neutral and supports the OMG Reusable Asset Specification. This is strategically important, not only so as to avoid locking an organisation into a particular vendor, but also because real success with an asset library comes from organisational buy-in at all levels, from all stakeholders. This implies open interfaces, so that the information in the asset library, and even the assets in it, can be used by anyone appropriate (a robust security model is necessary too), regardless of what technology they use.
Having a searchable library of reusable assets promotes services orientation and component-based development. This allows components to be worked on efficiently in parallel (often with different, collaborating, teams, possibly collaborating across in different organisations) and allows maintenance by a simple plug-in replacement of equivalent or improved modules.
Atego Asset Library will be probably be adopted initially by organisations in Atego's "comfort zone" - aerospace, transport, automotive and defence systems-engineering. However, some of the development team for this asset library have a banking background and the sort of standards-based reusable asset management it facilitates has a much wider application, in business-critical financial services applications in particular. Bloor would hope to see wider adoption of Atego Asset Library, perhaps through OEM deals with third-party systems- and services-integrators.
Atego has a rich partner community covering hardware and real-time operating systems (ARM Intel, Windriver, IBM, Linux, RedHat QNX etc), middleware (RTI, Prismtech etc) and tools (Siemans, Mathworks etc)
Asset Library's typical audience includes:
- Automotive suppliers and software VARs seeking to exploit the emerging AUTOSAR (AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture) open standards software architecture for automotive systems. The Atego Asset Library provides a functional-level index to re-useable AUTOSAR assets and a way of documenting the process of finding assets for re-use and communicating this re-use to stakeholders in automotive systems.
- Aerospace suppliers and software VARs needing to visualise the connectivity of the components making up a modern aerospace systems; and facilitate communication of changes to these systems.
- Internal programming teams and software VARs who want to use Asset Library features to allow them to reuse the information encoded in Interface Definition Language (IDL) in existing heterogeneous software systems without recourse to the code.
At a technical level, Atego Asset Library adopts a multi-user Web architecture using Microsoft SQL Server or SQL Server Express database, IIS Web Application Server or Server Farm.
Atego Asset Library is standards-based (it uses OMG Reusable Asset Specification - RAS), its user interface is 100% browser based (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Opera are supported) and it has a Web Service API and isn't hard-wired to SQL Server - so it is adequately open-access.
It supports any general file type (XML, Word, PDF, HTML, HTML5 etc.) and automated interrogation and documentation of CORBA IDL (Interface Definition Language) files (support for other file-types - e.g. WSDL, AUTOSAR, Ada, .NET Assembly - will be added in time).
It has an adaptor-based architecture, so Atego or its customers can just create another adaptor, drop it into the relevant directory and intelligently import from any intelligent file type; and import from, and publish to, any modelling tool. Atego Asset Library currently understands model "intelligence" in terms of Artisan Studio UML packages and interfaces (components) and Artisan Studio SysML blocks and ports but it is intended to add support for other modelling tools and 'bounded' items in future.
The product has a modern user interface with a ROI dashboard for management access. This is - important, as management buy-in to asset management processes is important to the long-term success of the library and is best obtained through management access to, and use of, the assets.
It has a strong role-based security model (necessary, as assets are potentially business-critical) and automated email notifications (important to ensure that key stakeholders don't overlook changes that might affect them).
Assets can be created in the library, or imported as a specification from other repositories/tools. The library includes rich search options, which mean that you can find an asset by its properties, keywords and states of assets and their constituent solution elements (component specifications, interface specification, type definition, operation), instead of just by its standardised name (accurate and non-domain-specific naming is a difficult and error-prone process). Asset versioning is supported and stakeholders who have registered an interest in an asset will be notified automatically when a new version becomes available. Assets, or asset specifications, are published in a form appropriate to the tools using them. You can navigate from an Asset in the Library into Artisan Studio and vice-versa; and from a higher-level Asset to a lower level one and back again. Managing the Asset life-cycle works best in conjunction with Artisan Studio at present; but could be fairly easily extended to other tools (as long as they have appropriate functionality and support the relevant standards).
A library of reusable assets can extend reuse higher up the stack, so that models can be reused - representing reuse of business-level designs and strategies. The higher the level of reuse, the greater the potential financial benefit. For example, an automated provisioning system for a military tank will be very different in terms of code and database definition than the provisioning system for a financial services dealer desk, but at some level, the "provisioning" concept will be similar. If you can reuse high-level provisioning system assets you can concentrate just on building the software that addresses areas of difference, which will save on resources. Even more interesting, if you don't want to diversify from building tanks to building dealing desks yourself, you may be able to leverage a return on your investment in building a provisioning system by packaging reusable (standards-based) assets and selling them to someone else in financial services.
Atego has an effective Global Services group providing:
- Expertise, consultancy and training around processes/methodologies for Enterprise Architecture, Requirements Management, Systems Engineering, Software Engineering, Simulation, Testing , V&V, Certification and Competency;
- Development, modernization & support staff;
- Project Mentoring and Audit;
- Tool training and customization.
It aims to promote accelerated knowledge transfer, in order to reduce time to market; provide quality improvement through mentoring and project review; and, mentor risk and cost reduction; using its experienced consultants.