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Embedded Systems November 2000 Vol13_12

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MARSHALL MEIER Eight-Bit 00 (Hard Eight) Using object-oriented techniques to design software for an 8-bit microcontroller may not be common, but it can be effective. This article tells how one project did it and what they learned. his is a case study of an actual embedded software project that applied an object-oriented analysis and design (OOAD) approach, without using an object-oriented language to imple- ment the design. The proj ect will be referred to as the Zeppelin proj ect, and the product will be referred to as the Gruntmaster (in honor of Dilbert) . The sofn-vare team for proj ect Zeppelin currently consists of one proj ect manager, six sofn-vare engineers, and three software test engineers. Industry experience among team members ranges from six months to over 20 years. At the beginning of tl1e proj ect, only one team member had worked on a proj ect that performed object-oriented analysis and design . To address this problem, all of Zeppelin 's team members attended a five-day OOAD with UML class, presented by Lockheed Martin 's Advanced Concepts Center division ( www. acc-lmco. com). Battle of the life-cycle models Towards the beginning of the proj ect, Zeppelin followed a classical waterfall life-cycle model as seen in Figure l. Adhering to tl1e waterfall model had its advan tages. First, the waterfall model is the dominant software life-cycle model used at tl1e company. All of tl1e team members were familiar with tl1e waterfal l model and felt comfortable following it. Second, the waterfall model is a disciplined approach. Third, as documentation is an integral part of tl1e model, good documenta tion is always available. This leads to easier product maintenan ce once the Gruntmaster has entered its mai ntenance phase.

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