What's new in IBM Rational Rhapsody 7.6.1 and Rhapsody Design Manager 3.0.1

Extending design management to The Mathworks Simulink and improving embedded system design

IBM® Rational® Rhapsody® 7.6.1 and IBM® Rational® Rhapsody® Design Manager 3.0.1 provide new features and integrations that help improve cross-discipline team collaboration and continuous development of high-quality and safe designs. Rational Rhapsody Design Manager 3.0.1 improves the design management capabilities by adding integration with the Mathwork Simulink, so you can share and review architecture and algorithms together. Support for Elektrobit EB tresos and AUTOSAR improvements enable a continuous integration and deployment development environment, with early validation for AUTOSAR-based E/E and ECU software. These updates also include improvements for systems engineering, safety-critical development, and many usability enhancements.

Paul Urban (purban@us.ibm.com), Senior Systems Market Manager, IBM Corporation

Paul Urban photoPaul Urban has more than 20 years experience in developing systems, software, and hardware in the embedded and real-time systems industry. Urban is currently a Senior Systems and Medical Devices Market Manager at IBM Rational and has worked with Rational software since 1995 in various roles.



16 December 2011

Also available in Chinese

Overview

Embedded device development often requires diverse teams from different disciplines -- such as architectural design, closed loop control design, or signal processing -- to bring together their parallel development tasks to produce an integrated, working design. Design information might be shared by using manual, paper-based methods and tedious manual review processes. IBM® Rational® Rhapsody® design management capabilities, built on Rational Jazz™ technology, enable diverse teams to collaborate, share, review and analyze designs. Rational Rhapsody Design Manager 3.0.1 introduces integration with the Mathworks Simulink environment, so that designers and other project stakeholders can collaborate on Simulink models. Teams can search, view, review, mark up, and analyze Simulink models and Rational Rhapsody designs in a central location that can be accessed easily through a web client. Links can be created with Simulink elements that can provide traceability throughout the overall product lifecycle to help manage and assess the impact of design changes.

Rational Rhapsody Version 7.6.1 introduces these improvements to support for automotive system development with AUTOSAR (AUTOmotive open System Architecture):

  • AUTOSAR 3.2 for development of automotive designs compliant with this standard
  • Integration with the Elektrobit EB tresos Studio automotive ECU software
  • Generating the ECU Extract, a specific ECU view for the AUTOSAR System

IBM Rational Rhapsody v7.6.1 helps teams developing to safety-critical standards such as ISO 26262, DO-178B, IEC 61508, or IEC 62304 by providing requirement traceability information for the supplied execution framework code to assist with tool qualification. The code generation is improved to include requirement information in the generated code. Additionally, the Simplified MicroC Framework (SMXF) is introduced with further optimizations to MicroC Framework (MXF) for safety-critical use by applying stricter coding guidelines and ARINC 653 support for avionics systems.


The Mathworks Simulink models can now be published to a Rational Jazz-based repository, along with Rational Rhapsody models helping diverse disciplines share their design information in a common location to help improve team collaboration, integration, and design results. Rational Rhapsody design management capabilities, which are available in Rational Rhapsody Design Manager and Rational Rhapsody Design Reviewer, enable design information to be automatically published to a central location and accessed through a web client, thereby giving an extended team easier access to key design information (see Figure 1). Rational Rhapsody's Design Manager 3.0.1 adds integration with Simulink, providing the following capabilities:

  • Central location for your organization to collaborate on multiple IBM Rational Rhapsody and Mathworks Simulink projects using the Jazz technology platform
  • Access with a web browser or Rational Rhapsody desktop client to Simulink models to provide easy access for project stakeholders
  • Ability to search and navigate across projects and lifecycle artifacts to help find key information from multiple sources quickly
  • Ability to link with Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC) standard to trace from designs to other lifecycle artifacts, such as requirements, test cases, or work items
  • Design review feature so that stakeholders can provide comments and visual mark-ups on top of designs
  • Automated publishing of IBM Rational Rhapsody models to the server to share the latest model information
  • Customizable developer and management dashboards to help stay up to date with recent design activity and project status
  • Snapshots on published designs for controlling changes
  • Dependency relationship diagrams to visualize relationships between designs and lifecycle artifacts for impact analysis
  • Open interfaces for document generation and reporting with tools such as IBM® Rational® Publishing Engine (sold separately) to automate generation of documentation across disciplines
  • Design Reviewer license that provides view, linking, and reviewing capabilities for the extended team from a web browser

As Figure 1 shows, design information can be viewed, shared, marked up, reviewed and linked using a web client through Rhapsody Design Manager. For more information about Rational Rhapsody design management capabilities, see the links in the Resources section.

Figure 1. Access to Simulink design information through Rhapsody Design Manager
Web client with Simulink diagram

Larger view of Figure 1.


Automotive and constrained target improvements

Improved AUTOSAR development

Rational Rhapsody provides a cohesive automotive development environment across the product development lifecycle, from concept specification to production code on the Electronic Control Units (ECU). Within a single environment, systems and software developers of automotive systems analyze requirements, specify the design, generate production code, and test the design. Automotive systems developers who use AUTOSAR (AUTOmotive open System ARchtecture) to manage complexity and deliver robust systems can now develop models for the AUTOSAR 3.2.1 standard, in addition to versions 2.1.4, 3.1 and 4.0.

The AUTOSAR process involves both the overall system view, with functionality spread across multiple ECUs, and an ECU view for each specific ECU. Rhapsody 7.6.1 supports the ECU view by performing an ECU extract from the system view.

AUTOSAR Blueprint authoring with extended tables

AUTOSAR Blueprints can be captured and edited using the new capabilities of extended tables. It is possible to edit both the tag values and the targets for dependencies within the table, which makes it easier to edit. These capabilities are used to enhance usability and provide a table that captures the PortBluePrint data and its references to interfaces and their descriptions.

AUTOSAR process integration with EB tresos

Early and continuous integration is a key software engineering practice to reduce integration risks. With Rational Rhapsody and Elektrobit EB tresos (EB) integration, developers can start testing their E/E (Electrical/Electronic) and Electronic Control Unit (ECU) software from the beginning of the project, and then incrementally add functionality while performing continuous testing. Elektrobit AUTOSAR runtime and integration tools offer engineers a robust runtime to base their ECU topologies on. With various flavors of runtime implementations, such as the Microsoft Windows-based EB tresos WinCore, developers are freed from hardware dependencies. This can result in improved time to market while still keeping a constant check on quality.

In this first phase, Rational Rhapsody Developer for C integrates with EB tresos, and developers can use Rational Rhapsody for AUTOSAR 3.1 and AUTOSAR 4.0 systems to model and design E/E and ECU (electronic control units) software. The Rational Rhapsody AUTOSAR model can generate ARXML that is imported into EB tresos ECU BSW (Basic Software) tools.


Safety-critical software development

Companies developing systems that are safety-critical in nature need to comply with safety standards that require that traceability exist between the implementation code and requirements and that also ensure that their testing is sufficiently covering all of the code. Rational Rhapsody provides an integrated development environment with tools to capture requirements and trace them to the design information in the model. This information can then be generated into implementation code as a code comment. This can provide a very cohesive design environment with clear traceability across the development lifecycle, automation for validation, verification, and documentation and consistency among the requirement, design, implementation, and documentation views.

New C framework for safety-critical development

Rational Rhapsody Developer v7.6.1 introduces the Simplified MicroC eXecution Framework (SMXF) for development of safety-critical designs that use the C language with MISRA-C 1996/2004 compliance, full static architecture, and ARINC 653 support. Table 1 compares the capabilities of the SMXF with the other C frameworks.

Table 1. Comparison of Rhapsody Developer for C execution frameworks
PurposeStandard C Object Execution Framework (OXF)MicroC eXecution Framework (MXF)Simplified MicroC eXecution Framework (SMXF)Interrupt- Driven Framework (IDF)
Supports statecharts Y Y Y Y
Supports asynchronous messaging Y Y Y Y
Supports synchronous messaging Y Y Y Y
Timers (time events) Y Y Y Y
UML ports Y Flow ports N N
Deterministic N Y Y Y
Periodic scheduling N Y Y N
Multi-thread support Y Y VxWorks 653 N
Supports multiple event queues Y Y Y Y
Resource protection Y Y Y N
Requires an OS? Y N N N
Can be used with an OS? Y Y Y Y
Defines own Container Classes Y Configurable N Y
Defines a Memory Manager Y Configurable N N
Error manager / notifier N N N Y
Static memory allocation N (property settings or user-defined) Y Y Y
Animation Y Y N N
Tracing Y Y N N
Simulated time model Y N N N
Size ~15000 LOC ~10000 LOC ~5000 LOC ~2500 LOC
MISRA C compliance N Med-high compliance High compliance High compliance

Qualification assistance for safety-critical development

When developing applications that are safety-related, you must pay particular concern to external code that is included in the final application to determine that it is safe to use. Rational Rhapsody 7.6.1 provides requirements traceability information for the SMXF for C and also for the Simplified eXecution Framework (SXF) for C++ that can help with your qualification efforts. Rational Rhapsody Developer v7.6.1 provides requirements and traceability information for the SMXF and SXF frameworks in a Rhapsody model that provides the documentation for the framework and can help companies meet their compliance goals. The requirements and traceability information can be used to assist teams that need to qualify external code so that it can be included in their final applications. A validation suite for the SXF C++ framework is available. It uses scripts that can be run to validate the code for the framework to help you certify it for use in your applications and meet your safety standards.

Code coverage for C++

The Rational Rhapsody TestConductor Add On, v7.6.1 for Windows, provides code coverage for the C++ language to complement the previously released code coverage with the C language to help with certification of an application for safety-critical standards. The code coverage is computed as the TestConductor Add On executes test cases. Statement, Condition/Decision (CD), Modified Condition/Decision (MCDC) coverage is provided in the coverage analysis, but templates and code inside header files are not covered. Code coverage can be performed using Cygwin compiler, but other compilers can work using an options file. Code coverage analysis is enabled by setting the ComputeCoverage tag in the test configuration. The coverage report allows you to view the coverage of the generated source code, and it highlights where code is not covered. Coverage reports are hyperlinked with the executed test cases to easily locate the coverage results of testing.

Testing with the simplified frameworks

The Simplified Object Execution Framework (SXF) for C++ provides a compact framework that is more suited to the coding standards required for delivery of applications with safety concerns. The Rational Rhapsody TestConductor Add On now supports testing applications that are using the SXF so that you can validate designs automatically by using test cases developed with on the add-on, including calculating code coverage of the test cases that were run.


Performance and usability improvements

IBM strives to continually deliver improvements in the overall performance and usability of every Rational Rhapsody release. Version.6.1 contains several optimizations to help you improve productivity.

New Getting Started guides

New role-, industry-, and technology-focused topics are now available from the Welcome screen that you see when Rational Rhapsody starts. These provide information that you need to get started using Rational Rhapsody for systems engineering, embedded software development, safety-critical development, automotive, the Unified Profile for DoDAF/MODAF (UPDM), Data-Distribution Service for Real-Time Systems (DDS), and other purposes.

Figure 2. Getting Started provides information on more topics
Topics on the Welcome screen

Searching and locating information quickly is an important aspect in improving the productivity of engineers, particularly on large projects with large amounts of information to manage. Rational Rhapsody 7.6.1 adds more advanced search capabilities to search by stereotype, tag name, tag value, relation, reference, or aggregate. Additionally, after items are located, you can open, view references, or delete items found in the search results to further increase your productivity.

Figure 3. Advanced options for searching stereotypes, tags, references, relations
Search window with advanced options highlighted

Option to merge statechart and activity diagrams

The differencing and merging capability is improved by adding more control to merge parallel changes in activity diagrams and statecharts to manage parallel development. This is similar to the way that other diagrams, such as class diagrams or sequence diagrams, can be merged.

Figure 4. Selectively choose changes to include in a merged statechart
Context menu when comparing versions of diagrams

Load on demand for Eclipse and multiple projects

You can now load model elements as required to help improve performance when working with large models. The ability to load model elements as they are needed is available when using Rational Rhapsody 7.6.1 with its Eclipse platform integration and when using multiple projects within Rational Rhapsody. This helps improve system performance on large projects because you can load only the relevant information. When there are multiple projects, each project "remembers" its load-on-demand setting. While performing your work, you can navigate and expand inactive projects that will be loaded using the load-on-demand mode.

Improved XMI model import workflow

Operations are added under the Tools menu to allow importing of model information from Sparx Enterprise Architect, IBM® Rational Rose® RealTime, IBM® Rational® Tau, and other XMI information using recommended settings for each tool to quickly migrate information from other tools. This version handles Sparx Enterprise Architect models that contain non-UML features, and you can split activity diagrams if they describe more than one activity. Additionally, improvements in error handling and reporting are added to assist you in troubleshooting any migration problems.

Import XMI menu selections in two content menus

Improved memory performance

Rational Rhapsody can now take advantage of the RAM of 64-bit machines to help improve performance while running as a 32-bit application.

Auto-scrolling of diagrams

When attempting to complete a relationship on a diagram to an item out of view, the view automatically scrolls as the mouse is moved off of the canvas.

Shows stereotypes on pins, flow ports, ports

An option is provided to view the stereotype on a diagram of pins, flow ports, or ports.

Simulation startup

Simulation breakpoints from the last debug session are automatically restored to help improve debugging productivity. The animation breakpoints are saved in an .ehl file for the Rational Rhapsody project. This option is controlled by using the Animation::General::AutoSetBreakpoints property. New statechart properties are available to control the automatic opening and viewing of statecharts during design debugging with simulation. The Animation::General::AutoOpenBehavioralDiagrams property specifies to automatically open a statechart when a state change takes place, either always or optionally, while single-stepping during debugging. The Animation::General::EnableAutoScroll property specifies to autoscroll the statechart to display the last state automatically, thereby making it easier to identify where the change occurred.


Systems engineering improvements

Activity diagram execution improvements

Early validation of design behavior through the token-based simulation of activity diagrams is further improved with the addition of token queuing, guards on flows and diagram connectors. Token queuing allows tokens to be stored for processing later. During simulation, the number of tokens queued on the various flows can be displayed. The values of the input and output tokens can be displayed using the right-click with the context menu of flows and actions of the simulated activity diagrams. Additionally, guards are evaluated on control and object flows without having to use decision nodes enabling modeling of conditional token passage without using decision nodes. Additionally, diagram connectors can be used to connect flows between the diagrams to capture complex behaviors on multiple activity diagrams and improve readability.

Figure 6 shows the addition of token queuing, diagram connectors, and display of token values to the simulation of activity diagrams.

Figure 6. Additions to the simulation of activity diagrams
Annotated activity diagram

Larger view of Figure 6.

SysML usability improvements

The SysML profile provided with Rational Rhapsody contains the following updates to help automate the design process and give systems engineers more design options:

  • After dragging a call operation to a swimlane on an activity diagram, the target of a call operation action is automatically set to the swimlane that contains the action.
  • It is now possible to create a parametric diagram under a constraint block to specify the constraint by using a parametric diagram. Constraint parameters of the owning constraint block are specified on the diagram frame.
  • Constraints can be shown as a compartment on a block or on a statechart
  • A new constraints tab on the features dialog and an Add New constraint operation on the context menu are provided.

Automated creation DoDAF and MODAF architectures with UPDM

The Rational Rhapsody DoDAF, MODAF, and UPDM Add On software provides a modeling environment for the design, construction, and analysis of Department of Defense Architecture Framework 2.0 (DoDAF) and Ministry of Defence Architecture Framework (MODAF) compliant architectures, using the Unified Profile for DoDAF/MODAF (UPDM). Rational Rhapsody 7.6.1 introduces new helpers in the UPDM profile that can automate the DoDAF and MODAF development process further to help reduce manual tasks and improve consistency across the architecture. Traceability is a critical aspect in delivering robust DoDAF and MODAF architectures. The helpers automate creation of dependencies and tags to help avoid manual entry errors by populating views automatically. They also tie different views together for better consistency and improve accuracy of traceability. A customizable model checker is provided that can help validate the architecture. Additionally, helpers assist in locating information by navigating to tags. Table 2 lists the helpers, the context menus where you can find them, and brief descriptions.

Table 2. Location of UPDM profile helpers in the model
Menu entryContext menu or location of operationSummary
Populate carried exchange items OV-5 operational activity model

SV-4 System Function Model
For every edge on the selected diagram, populates the carriedExchangeItem tag based on the content of the carriedExchange tag
Synchronize performs dependencies OperationalNode,node, NodeRole, Post, Organization, System, SystemNode, CapabilityConfguration, ResourceArtifcact, and all variations on uses of ResoruceArtifacts
Adds or removes «performs» dependencies based on analysis of all OV-5 views and SV-4s
Select carried exchange OperationalActivityEdge
OperationalMessage
SystemFunctionEdge
SystemMessage
Sets the carriedExchange tag on the selected element based on a filtered selection of Information Exchanges
Model checker Tools menu Shows the Model Checker tool
UPDM tab is a customizable UPDM Model checker
Locate carried exchange OperationalActivityEdge

SystemFunctionEdge
Shows the appropriate carried exchange for the selected edge in the browser
Locate tags Any model element Displays a GUI for navigation to model elements specified in tags
Create usage CapabilityConfiguration
Organization
Post
ResourceArtifact
Software
Node
OperationalNode
Creates an appropriate instance of the selected type, based on analysis of the metamodel
References Any information flow Brings up a dedicated, navigable list of references for the flow
Select need line link Any information flow Allows population of the realizingConnector tag for a flow
Manipulate graphical properties Any model element Allows user to view and manipulate graphical properties of selected element

UPDM document template

A template for generation of Unified Profile for DoDAF/MODAF (UPDM) profile is provided to generate a report that describes the views, viewpoints, and data dictionaries of the UPDM model.

Stereotyped elements with Siemens TeamCenter integration

Stereotyped Rhapsody model elements can be imported into Siemens TeamCenter, thereby allowing more design flexibility.


Software development improvements

Control the Check Model warnings during code generation

Users can control which Check Model warnings are invoked during code generation, so that you can prevent warnings that are not of interest to you.

Navigation from Implementation to the code editor

There are many ways to navigate between Rational Rhapsody and the implementation code. A new way is added in v7.6.1 that allows navigation from the Implementation tab of the Features dialog window to the code in the IDE. The Ctrl+Alt+K key sequence is the shortcut for this operation.

Integration with software development environments

Rational Rhapsody provides integration with Microsoft Visual Studio that allows importing, building, navigation, and synchronization between the two tools. Rational Rhapsody Developer v7.6.1 and Rational Rhapsody Architect for Software v7.6.1 add support for Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, in addition to support for Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and Microsoft Visual Studio 6.0.

The platform integration with Eclipse plugs Rational Rhapsody into the Eclipse environment to give you a single environment to design applications with Rational Rhapsody while leveraging the code development capabilities of Eclipse or collaboration capabilities of IBM® Rational Team Concert™. If you want to take advantage of the Rhapsody v7.6.1 integration within Eclipse but also want to use non-Eclipse-based IDEs, such as Microsoft Visual Studio, you can use this configuration.

Expanded Data Distribution Service for Real-Time Systems (DDS) support

Rational Rhapsody Developer for C++ v7.6.1 extends support for the DDS middleware, thus enabling developers to build distributed real-time systems using a data-centric publish-subscribe architecture by adding support for PrismTech OpenSplice DDS. You can use it in addition to the currently supported Real-Time Innovations (RTI) DDS. Additionally, support for DDS is added for Linux with Rational Rhapsody Developer for C++, along with generation of 64-bit applications. The data-centric publish-subscribe (DCPS) package supplied is updated to support WaitSet and Conditions in the DDS profile, based on the Unified Modeling Language (UML) profile.

Improved Ada code roundtrip capabilities

Rational Rhapsody Developer for Ada adds new roundtripping capabilities that allow more flexibility to edit in either in the model or the code, while keeping both synchronized and maintaining the order of the code. The developer has the flexibility to make changes in the code or model during development and have those changes preserved. The option is specified by using the Ada_Roundtrip::General::RoundtripScheme property for the code-generation configuration.

  • The Respect option enables doing roundtrip synchronization on any element of the file, with the order elements in the file also being preserved.
  • The Advanced option enables doing roundtrip synchronization on any element of the file, but the order of elements might not be preserved.

You can add, remove, or modify attributes, operations, types, dependencies, packages, or comments in the code, and the model elements are updated to reflect the changes.


Document generation

Rational Rhapsody Version 7.6.1 and Rational Rhapsody Design Manager 3.0.1 include support for generating documents by using Rational common reporting technology. You can customize the included templates or create new ones with the IBM® Rational® Publishing Engine (sold separately). Templates can be run from within the Rational Rhapsody (no additional license required) to export information as documents in Microsoft Word, PDF, HTML, and XSL-FO formats. Rational Publishing Engine does not need to be installed for reports to be generated. Reports are included in this release that can be used to extract information from the Rational Rhapsody model.

Resources

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Get products and technologies

  • Download Rational Rhapsody Developer and try it free for 30 days.
  • Learn more about the Design Management project and download a trial for Rhapsody Design Manager on Jazz.net.
  • Evaluate IBM software in the way that suits you best: Download it for a trial, try it online, use it in a cloud environment, or spend a few hours in the SOA Sandbox learning how to implement service-oriented architecture efficiently.

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