Software Integration

© D L BIRD 2003

Software Integration (SI) is one of today’s most important topics to consider during the design of any new or upgrade of an existing system. SI can save project time, lower costs and importantly improve overall ‘system’ performance. Topics for integration should cover as a minimum, the following broad areas:

  • Optimisation of key processes
  • Automate as many processes as possible
  • Integrate redundant tasks and simplify complex product variants
  • Ensure performance management and achievement are key design goals from the outset
  • Manage system risks from the outset of the design
  • Ensure systems remain consistent throughout evolution’s
  • Early and even post-design investment in SI can alleviate poor system performance and provide the foundations for long-term cost reductions and product viability, elements that can be derived from accompanying data management systems and standards, for example in its simplest form, SI can yield significant improvements in information views and avoid the need for double entry of data.

SI coupled to future designs must be cognisant of an evolving market and take into account both hardware and software market trends. Even today Moores Law still stands the test of time, even some 40 years after its inception, furthermore, year-on-year technology growth continues to push system designs to their limits and provide even greater opportunities for enhanced capability.

Collaboration at the macro or micro level is the key to successful SI, since only by agreeing on standards for design, build, test and importantly verification and validation can organisations support the underlying market evolution, factors that are significant business drivers, but all too often overlooked.

I see data management coupled with design standards as being the key success drivers for any organisation, indeed the world has seen increasingly higher levels of maturity being employed in standards (e.g. IEEE, ISO) together with pre-market collaboration to ensure products from all suppliers stand the test of time. The days of BETAMAX versus VHS have gone.

Increasing levels of processor and processing capabilities also allow today’s designs to implement complex operating environments and where required, partition operations and computational support to logically formed systems, this growth has also enabled supporting design methods and tools to be implemented that traditionally would have presented an overhead that was either not affordable, too slow to implement or had development/product cost ratios that were uneconomical.

Moore’s Law is the empirical observation made in 1965 that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit for minimum component cost doubles every 24 months. It is attributed to Gordon E. Moore (born 1929), a co-founder of Intel. Although it is sometimes quoted as every 18 months, Intel’s official Moore’s Law page, as well as an interview with Gordon Moore himself, state that it is every two years.