Ada and Beyond

Software Policies for the Department of Defense

Committee on the Past and Present Contexts for the Use of Ada in the Department of Defense

Computer Science and Telecommunications Board

Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C. 1997



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--> Ada and Beyond Software Policies for the Department of Defense Committee on the Past and Present Contexts for the Use of Ada in the Department of Defense Computer Science and Telecommunications Board Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1997

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--> NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is interim president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and interim vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. Support for this project was provided by the Department of Defense (under contract number DASW01-96-C0028). The views, options, and findings contained in this report are those of the authors and should not be construed as an official Department of Defense position, policy, or decision, unless so designated by other official documentation. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 96-71960 International Standard Book Number 0-309-05597-0 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Box 285 Washington, DC 20055 800/624-6242 202/334-3313 (in the Washington Metropolitan Area) http://www.nap.edu Copyright 1997 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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--> COMMITTEE ON THE PAST AND PRESENT CONTEXTS FOR THE USE OF ADA IN THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE BARRY BOEHM, University of Southern California, Chair THEODORE BAKER, Florida State University WESLEY EMBRY, Silicon Graphics Inc. JOSEPH FOX, Template Software PAUL HILFINGER, University of California at Berkeley MARETTA HOLDEN, Boeing Corporation J. ELIOT B. MOSS, University of Massachusetts at Amherst WALKER ROYCE, Rational Software Corporation WILLIAM SCHERLIS, Carnegie Mellon University S. TUCKER TAFT, Intermetrics Inc. RAYFORD VAUGHN, Electronic Data Systems Corporation ANTHONY WASSERMAN, Interactive Development Environments Inc. Special Advisor BARBARA LISKOV, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Staff PAUL D. SEMENZA, Study Director GLORIA P. BEMAH, Administrative Assistant

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--> COMPUTER SCIENCE AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS BOARD DAVID D. CLARK, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chair FRANCES E. ALLEN, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center JEFF DOZIER, University of California at Santa Barbara SUSAN GRAHAM, University of California at Berkeley JAMES GRAY, Microsoft Corporation BARBARA GROSZ, Harvard University PATRICK M. HANRAHAN, Stanford University JUDITH HEMPEL, Modeling Simulations Inc. DEBORAH A. JOSEPH, University of Wisconsin BUTLER W. LAMPSON, Microsoft Corporation EDWARD D. LAZOWSKA, University of Washington BARBARA LISKOV, Massachusetts Institute of Technology JOHN MAJOR, Motorola ROBERT L. MARTIN, Lucent Technologies DAVID G. MESSERSCHMITT, University of California at Berkeley CHARLES L. SEITZ, Myricom Inc. DONALD SIMBORG, KnowMed Systems LESLIE L. VADASZ, Intel Corporation MARJORY S. BLUMENTHAL, Director HERBERT S. LIN, Senior Program Officer PAUL D. SEMENZA, Program Officer JERRY R. SHEEHAN, Program Officer JEAN E. SMITH, Program Associate JOHN M. GODFREY, Research Associate LESLIE M. WADE, Research Assistant GLORIA P. BEMAH, Administrative Assistant GAIL E. PRITCHARD, Project Assistant

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--> COMMISSION ON PHYSICAL SCIENCES, MATHEMATICS, AND APPLICATIONS ROBERT J. HERMANN, United Technologies Corporation, Co-chair W. CARL LINEBERGER, University of Colorado, Co-chair PETER M. BANKS, Environmental Research Institute of Michigan LAWRENCE D. BROWN, University of Pennsylvania RONALD G. DOUGLAS, Texas A&M University JOHN E. ESTES, University of California at Santa Barbara L. LOUIS HEGEDUS, Elf Atochem North America Inc. JOHN E. HOPCROFT, Cornell University RHONDA J. HUGHES, Bryn Mawr College SHIRLEY A. JACKSON, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission KENNETH H. KELLER, University of Minnesota KENNETH I. KELLERMANN, National Radio Astronomy Observatory MARGARET G. KIVELSON, University of California at Los Angeles DANIEL KLEPPNER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology JOHN KREICK, Sanders, a Lockheed Martin Company MARSHA I. LESTER, University of Pennsylvania NICHOLAS P. SAMIOS, Brookhaven National Laboratory L.E. SCRIVEN, University of Minnesota SHMUEL WINOGRAD, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center CHARLES A. ZRAKET, MITRE Corporation (retired) NORMAN METZGER, Executive Director

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--> Preface It is increasingly important for the Department of Defense (DOD) to implement effective information systems policies and strategies, as future battles will be decided as much in "cyberspace" as in physical space. The use of effective computer programming languages and more broadly, of software engineering technology and policy designed for optimal support of DOD requirements is key to DOD's strategy of achieving information dominance for warfighting. For the past two decades, DOD has used programming language policy as a vehicle for obtaining cost-effective, high-performance information systems. However, the process of software development has changed considerably during this period, as has the computer industry itself. These changes have altered the environment in which DOD develops and produces information systems. It is in this context that Assistant Secretary of Defense (Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence) Emmett Paige, Jr., requested that the National Research Council's Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) review DOD's current programming language policy. Convened by CSTB, the Committee on the Past and Present Contexts for the Use of Ada in the Department of Defense was asked to: Review DOD's original (mid-1970s) goals and strategy for the Ada program; Compare and contrast the past and present environments for DOD software development; and Consider alternatives and propose a refined set of goals, objectives, and approaches better suited to meeting DOD's software needs in the face of ongoing technological change. Although the committee focused on programming language issues, it also considered them in the context of software architectures, components, and life-cycle processes, consistent with the realization that successful software engineering strategy involves several elements that are at least as important as the programming language component. Throughout its deliberations, the committee was sensitive to the fact that the issues surrounding Ada and DOD programming language policy have been the source of vigorous debate among DOD

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--> policymakers, program managers, government contractors, and the software community at large. Thus the committee made a concerted effort to collect a variety of views, and it received numerous briefings, position papers, and analyses from representatives of government agencies, as well as the defense, aerospace, and commercial industries. The committee membership included many different organizational viewpoints and personal experiences; as it reflected the larger community, so also did it engage in vigorous debate during its own deliberations. In the process of reaching conclusions and formulating recommendations, however, the committee agreed on the importance of DOD adopting software policies that better reflect ongoing significant changes in the discipline of software engineering, while retaining the benefits of prior investment and policy decisions. The committee also understood the desire on all sides to bring closure to a policy debate that has continued for many years. Several briefings to the committee included requests that the committee not suggest further studies on the topic. The committee found these requests compelling and has attempted to frame its recommendations so that they can be acted on directly by DOD policymakers. Thus, for example, in addition to making recommendations in the main text of the report concerning the appropriate scope of and criteria for DOD software policy, the committee found it useful to propose a revised statement of the current policy as embodied in DOD Directive 3405.1. The committee-modified form of the DOD-revised draft (May 15, 1996) of the directive is offered in Appendix A for consideration as a template for further revision. The committee was aware that DOD has been conducting an effort to revise this policy; indeed, the committee was provided copies of two different draft revisions. In addition to the individuals and organizations who participated in committee meetings and wrote position papers for the study (listed in Appendix E), the committee would like to acknowledge the numerous anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on a draft version of this report. The committee would also like to acknowledge the efforts of Assistant Secretary Paige and his staff, including Cynthia Rand and Connie Leonard, for assisting the committee in locating individuals and materials to consult. Finally, the committee would like to acknowledge the support provided by the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board and staff. Several Board members took an active interest in the project and offered numerous suggestions that helped to strengthen the report. The CSTB staff were instrumental in organizing the committee meetings and coordinating briefings, reviews, and interactions with Board members. In particular, CSTB's administrative assistant, Gloria Bemah, provided excellent administrative support, and its director, Marjory Blumenthal, played a key role in overseeing the study on behalf of the CSTB. Susan Maurizi edited the report under a compressed schedule, and Gail Pritchard and Jean Smith of CSTB assisted in production of the final draft. Finally, Paul Semenza, the study director, worked closely with the committee in every phase of the study.

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--> Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1 1   THE CHANGING CONTEXT FOR DOD SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT   7     Growth in the Commercial Software Industry,   8     Obstacles to Broad Adoption of Ada,   8     Low Commercial Awareness and Limited Sponsorship,   9     Limited Extent of Academic Instruction in Ada,   9     Limited Availability of Ada Tools and Compilers,   10     Assumption That Ada Has to Control Everything,   11     Need for Ada-compatible Application Programming Interfaces,   11     Labor Market Forces,   12     DOD Programming Language Policy,   12     Policy History,   12     Ada's Place in Current DOD Programming Language Policy,   14     Implementation of Policy on Waivers,   14     Importance of Appropriate Expertise,   15     Level of Applicability,   15     Implications,   15     DOD Investment Strategy,   16     Summary of Ada Trends,   16     Critical Questions,   17     Notes,   18 2   SOFTWARE ENGINEERING AND THE ROLE OF ADA IN DOD SYSTEMS   19     Software Engineering Process and Architecture,   19

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-->     Economics of Software Engineering,   21     Reducing the Complexity of Software Products,   21     Improving Software Processes,   22     Influence of Software Environments, Tools, and Languages on the Software Engineering Process,   23     Technical Evaluation of Ada 95 and Other Third-Generation Programming Languages,   24     Available Comparisons of Ada 83 and Other Third-Generation Programming Languages,   26     Analyses of Language Features,   26     Comparisons of Empirical Data,   26     Anecdotal Experience from Projects,   30     The Need to Institute Collection of Data for Software Metrics,   30     Notes,   32 3   DOD SOFTWARE POLICY: ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS   34     Policy Objectives and Criteria Relevant to Meeting Them,   35     Relating Criteria to Objectives,   35     Critical Criteria in DOD's Selection of a Programming Language,   35     Warfighting and Commercially Dominated Applications,   36     Ada Business-Case Analysis,   37     Criteria for Evaluation of Ada,   37     Conclusions,   40     Findings and Recommendations,   42     Ada Competitive Advantage,   42     Applicability of Policy to DOD Domains,   42     Scope of Policy,   43     Policy Implementation,   43     Investment in Ada,   43     Software Metrics Data,   44     Assessment of Policy Alternatives,   44     Conditions for Requiring Ada,   44     Ada Requirement,   47     Language Choice Process,   48     Investment in Ada Infrastructure,   49     Economic Analysis of Investment in Ada Infrastructure,   50     Notes,   52 4   IMPLEMENTATION OF RECOMMENDED DOD SOFTWARE POLICY   53     Recommended Policy for Choice of Programming Language,   53     Goals of Software Development,   54     Guidelines for Choice of Programming Language,   55     Recommended Policy for Requiring the Use of the Ada Programming Language,   55     Software Engineering Plan Review Process,   56     Policy Framework,   57     Stakeholder Role,   58

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-->     Approval Authority and Milestones,   59     Submission of Software Engineering Plans,   59     Software Engineering Codes,   60     Notes,   61 5   IMPLEMENTATION OF RECOMMENDED STRATEGY FOR INVESTMENT IN ADA   62     Goals of the Investment Strategy,   62     Ada Investment Strategy,   63     Language Maintenance and Enhancement,   64     Support for Ada Compilers, Tools, and Application Programming Interfaces,   64     Curriculum Development,   66     Centralized Support Organization,   66     Detailed Plan for Investments in Ada Technology and Support,   66     Conclusion,   67     Notes,   68     BIBLIOGRAPHY   69     APPENDIXES         A DOD Draft Software Management Policy Directive with Further Modifications Suggested by the Committee,   75     B Technical Descriptions of Ada and Other Third-Generation Programming Languages,   80     C Glossary,   88     D Detailed Comparisons of Ada and Other Third-Generation Programming Languages,   92     E Briefings and Position Papers Received by the Committee,   101

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