The ISO 8402 standard defines quality as “the totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs.” In today's appliances we find many and high requirements for software safety and security. Consequently, software quality is an important issue in the fields of safety- and security-critical applications, e.g. in the avionics, where our software is mainly employed. To satisfy these needs we have implemented a strict quality management system including requirement tracing for our products and services. Software developers, system designers and system architects of all markets benefit from our commitment to quality. Besides formal certification our quality approach delivers a variety of additional benefits enabling you to develop high-class embedded devices in time and in budget.
Approach towards Quality
In the early 2000s we worked with traditional real-time operating systems and made our experiences with monolithic systems. We then decided on a different approach and built PikeOS Safe & Secure Virtualization, a micro kernel based real-time operating system to satisfies safety and security needs of complex embedded systems. From the beginning we had in mind to offer PikeOS as a platform for safety-critical appliances with certification requirements. Following the rules of the certification authorities, we have implemented a quality management system as a prerequisite for PikeOS Safe & Secure Virtualization to be certified according to FAA's DO-178B, the highest safety standard being used in the avionics.
Quality Management at SYSGO
High quality software is extremely dependent on high quality software development processes. For all our products and services, we have defined processes for project-, quality-, and risk-management, for software design, construction, and testing, for quality assurance, verification, configuration, and change request management. All software development is reviewed by a dedicated quality manager according to the rules of our quality management system.
Bottom up approach to setting up software QA processes
Software development with high quality demands compliant to certification standards like DO-178B can only be successfully implemented, if every software engineer knows about the required software Quality Assurance (QA) processes and their implementation. We enforce the philosophy of "living QA processes" in all our software development processes and
- Implement QA processes as an integral component of project development
- Enforce understanding of software QA planning documents
- Integrate feedback of development engineers in QA processes
- Perform Engineering audits, which also include feedback possibilities
- QA performs an active role during all phases of software development
- Train engineers to be self dependent by being compliant with software QA processes
We integrate certification process requirements as the default processes for software development and update internal standards in accordance with certification requirements and train engineers in accordance with certification development processes. We integrate permanent self-tests of the quality system and improve certification processes according to development process experience and project's “lessons learned”. Results of external audits and assessments are used to permanently improve our software development processes.
Certified Quality according to SPICE (ISO/IEC 15504)
In 2006, the QA management system implemented for our products and services including support has been successfully certified according to SPICE and achieved the SPICE maturity level 3. This assessment has been performed by Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE in Kaiserslautern.
Benefits of high quality development tools
High quality development tools are an important success factor for software development - in the avionics as well as in the automotive, the industrial automation, the medical technology and other markets for complex embedded device. They are a prerequisite for device certification according to existing and upcoming safety and security standards and include additional benefits that make your embedded devices more successful: verifiable software quality, higher reliability, consistency, greater re-usability, lower life cycle costs, decreased maintenance cost, faster hardware integration, and better portability. The development of durable goods requires a long-term perspective when choosing the software platform that includes to consider quality aspects.