Blog

Stop Reinventing the Wheel: Focus on Maximum Software Reuse

Written by Russell Blake | July 19, 2017

When kicking off a test cell software development project, one of the first considerations is typically, should we build or buy? Both commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) and custom software have advantages and disadvantages to consider in any scenario. Most of the time, COTS software will not meet 100 percent of your requirements, but it may get you most of the way there.

At G Systems, we believe we should never waste time reinventing the wheel when it comes to software development. Thus, we focus on using a hybrid software development approach that focuses on maximum reuse of COTS software and existing developed code whenever possible. We believe there are a number of benefits to not constantly doing things from scratch, including faster development time, the ability to use parallel development, and less system maintenance over time.

For example, one of our long-time satisfied customers that manufacturers aircrafts reached out to us for assistance with automating the quality and acceptance procedures for a mechanical component on their aircraft. We determined we could meet 80 percent of the solution requirements for their test cell software using existing features of NI VeriStand and NI TestStand software environments along with some NI VeriStand add-on components developed by the Systems Engineering department at NI. But, there were still some gaps left to address that we felt confident our engineers could achieve with LabVIEW, Microsoft technologies, reusable G Systems software, and minimal custom development.

Requirements coverage by software component.

The Benefits of Reuse for Test Cell Software Development
By reusing code and taking a hybrid development approach, we see faster development times and can also take advantage of parallel development with our clients. Our clients also see the added benefit of less maintenance over time by using proven software components. All of these factors can save our customers a lot of time and money during development and support of the system. In the end, using this approach, you can achieve a fully integrated solution without reinventing the wheel.

Learn more about the specific requirements for this client and how we addressed each one with maximum software reuse by downloading the full white paper.