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Device software test/debug tools rev’d

Jul 25, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Wind River is shipping a new version of its application hot-patching and remote debugging product for software and device testing facilities. Lab Diagnostics 2.1 adds features aimed at speeding up automated testing, as well as better support for large, complex test builds, the company said.

(Click to enlarge)

Lab Diagnostics aims to let test engineers dynamically instrument systems without recompiling their applications or kernels. For example, they might add a “printf” statement, or even a whole new function, Wind River said. The trick requires features built into select Wind River Linux and VxWorks OSes, along with very small, lightweight runtime executables called “Sensorpoints” (depicted at right).

Additional claimed primary benefits include:

  • Ability to introduce operating conditions that would take lots of effort to simulate using “real-world” testing techniques
  • Support for geographically distributed testing teams
  • Management database to facilitate test re-use

Lab Diagnostics architecture
(Click to enlarge)

New in the 2.1 release of Lab Diagnostics are three major new features:

  • The capability to sequentially deploy multiple Sensorpoints via scripts — potentially speeding automated testing up to a hundred thousand percent, Wind River said
  • The capability to “pack many actions (grab, download, enable, collect data, disable) into a single, executable file for manual and long-run testing” — said to help with complex builds
  • Kernel level instrumentation, said to let users deploy Sensorpoints to “determine how the Linux applications run”

Kuljeet Kalkat, VP of product management, stated, “During systems integration, verification and validation stages, many of our customers face the need to test software builds of amazing complexity on stringent schedules. Lab Diagnostics enables our customers to test and patch running software without stopping, which is a significant advantage.”

Dana Gardner, principal analyst with Interarbor Solutions, stated, “Lab Diagnostics helps device developers improve the device's performance in deployment and general use by identifying bugs and offering remediation paths early and often.”

Wind River launched Lab Diagnostics in Feb of this year. The product evolved from an earlier Field Diagnostics offering aimed at helping manufacturing equipment and network equipment vendors service and support devices in the field.


Lab Diagnostics 2.1 is available now. It supports Wind River Linux 1.4-1.5 for PowerPC and Intel Architecture. It also supports VxWorks 5.5.1 on PowerPC, and VxWorks 6.x on “most” PowerPC, IA, MIPS, and ARM/XScale processors, Wind River said.

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