Visure's IRQA offers requirements engineering solution for embedded systems

by K C Krishnadas, TechOnline India - January 26, 2012

As a field-proven requirements engineering tool, IRQA improves the quality and tracking of embedded system requirements through automated requirements specification and change management.

Visure Solutions has announced the release of IRQA Systems Engineering Template, an IRQA extension to meet the challenges of increasingly complex embedded software systems. Embedded systems raise several design issues such as diversity of platforms and architecture, increased regulatory compliance, mechanical constraints and these create a complex requirements matrix that can no longer be maintained through manual methods.

IRQA improves the quality and tracking of embedded system requirements through automated requirements specification and change management. Visure's IRQA offers companies a way to gain assurance that their software functions as specified and can meet product deadlines.

The importance of robust, reliable embedded systems has grown  as society gets more dependent on embedded software. This has led to increased regulation of embedded systems by governments and industries that require companies to prove compliance by tracing each requirement through all stages of development and testing to validation. IRQA enables system and requirement engineers to improve the quality of requirements definition as an essential first step in boosting software quality.


“Embedded systems now permeate every aspect of our lives, playing a significant role in automobiles, industries, medical devices, energy smart grids, and many other critical systems. For many companies in these domains, regulatory requirements push their ability to manage system requirements beyond the ad-hoc paper processes they have used, causing budgets and development time to balloon out of control. IRQA enables companies to regain control not only of their own development, but of the regulatory processes and validation proof that is now an integral part of product development,” said Baldo Rincón, CEO, Visure Solutions.

Applied to the Embedded Software Requirements Lifecycle, IRQA becomes the process backbone. The requirements process metamodel, including all the requirement-related artifacts, their relationships, and their interactions with the users, are graphically represented, showing compliance through all stages of software development. IRQA helps standardize and enforce the requirements definition across the organization, formalize a common requirements specification structure, and handle changes throughout the lifecycle. With IRQA, project collaboration—whether between various software groups or with hardware or mechanical contributors—becomes easier as specific information can be communicated and shared both inside and outside the company.

IRQA helps avoid pitfalls and mitigate risk at all levels, from writing better requirements and prioritizing needs to providing the industry’s best change impact analysis capabilities. As requirements are written, IRQA Quality Analyzer performs semantic analysis to give each requirement a quality rating based on such weaknesses as ambiguous words, conditional sentences, poor structure, implementation suggestions, overlapping requirements, inconsistent use of units, and even legibility.

In a January 2010 study comparing requirements management tools, Collaborative Product Development Associates (CPDA), an analyst firm specializing in product lifecycle management solutions, said it was “surprised” by several advances IRQA delivered.  The CPDA had said that “Feasibility analysis is best covered by IRQA, to the full extent of the capabilities needed.”

IRQA supports a wide range of development processes, including traditional V and waterfall, as well as supporting the shift toward a more iterative process. Thanks to a central repository, developers are not limited to a web experience, but gain desktop control with the complete functionality of the IRQA solution, even when geographically dispersed throughout the world. IRQA’s structure also supports product families and variants, ensuring that a well-defined set of requirements will be faithfully rendered for each project without the error-prone work of recreating those requirements each time.

With these tools, system engineers can create high-quality requirements that are clear and unambiguous. Eliminating the guesswork and misinterpretation for design teams increases the likelihood of delivering correct systems the first time and on budget. As well, IRQA can interoperate with most popular design, test, project, and user management tools, and it has open APIs and a Plug-in SDK for customization.

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