Collaboration, Collaboration, Collaboration!

By Michel Genard


We have all seen reports, studies or have first hand experiences about projects falling apart. One of my favorite illustrations about this phenomenon is the well-known “tree swing picture.” Interesting to note that it dates from the 1970’s …I guess there are things that never change!

Tree_swing_70s Seriously, humor often comes from a seed of truth. In the case of this comic strip, the core issue is communication and mutual understanding between teams.  Speaking the same language is not a guarantee that teams are intelligently working together. Even when using  plain and simple English (although, the existence of “simple” English is debatable), we frequently witness a lack of understanding between hardware and software teams. Why? It is mostly because each constituent doesn’t create and share artifacts that are useful to the other group.  Using text-like documentation to communicate and assuming that alignment will happen misses the point that the document is a “dead” piece of material. Some sort of translation is often required in order for the information to be useful, otherwise the brain of the reader will interpret and make its own sense about the text.  This issue has been recognized for some time now. In 1996, a group of people working with OMG lead to the standardization of UML which was the first modern attempt to create a common artifact, in the form of a model that could describe an application that would be understood the same way by different professionals. UML and other MDA approaches have now delivered value cross multiple industries. Since its inception in 2000, customers have found out that Simics is the best vehicle to describe and represent an electronic system via a virtual platform to develop, run and test arbitrary software. We are now introducing Simics 4.6, the second major release since Simics became part of the Wind River product portfolio. The theme of this release is collaboration across all constituents in any given project. With this release, Simics is further enabling users to share artifacts that make sense to them in the form of checkpointing, tracing, and integrated source code debugging and target system panels.  Allow me to tease you with one single example. Image this… your team can now cooperate globally by creating, managing and sharing artifacts that are directly executable. You can say goodbye to the times where you have to send dozen of emails to explain how to configure a system with all the switches (hardware and software). Just email a Simics 4.6 checkpoint and the recipient (regardless if the person is within your company or not) can start execution of the system right away from the exact point you want him to start at. 

Realtors have their famous credo: location, location, and location…I suggest that project teams should think: collaboration, collaboration, collaboration! We’ll release more detailed information about Simics 4.6 in the coming weeks, so keep visiting us here and here