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Hot-patch technology supports device QA teams

Feb 13, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Wind River is shipping a version of its application hot-patching and remote debugging product designed specifically for software and device testing facilities, including geographically distributed teams. Lab Diagnostics lets teams dynamically instrument Linux and VxWorks applications without recompiling, and artificially create arbitrary operational conditions, the company says.

Previously, Wind River offered its hot-patching and remote debugging technology in a Field Diagnostics product aimed at helping manufacturing and network equipment vendors service and support devices in the field. That product exploited features built into Wind River's Linux and VxWorks operating systems, along with lightweight “SensorPoint” runtimes, to enable programmers to insert printf statements or even whole new functions into running applications, for purposes of debugging or temporarily patching products already deployed at customer sites.


Wind River's original “Field Diagnostics” architecture
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Sensorpoints
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When it launched Field Diagnostics last May, Wind River said the technology would also prove useful to product testing labs, and QA teams, especially internationally distributed ones. Now, the company has created a version of the technology specifically designed for such labs.

Lab Diagnostics is based on the same SensorPoint technology as Field Diagnostics. However, it is meant for use in testing labs, rather than with products deployed at customer sites. Paul Henderson, VP of business development, notes, “Companies that verify and validate with Lab Diagnostics can leverage their experience with Field Diagnostics. However, they would need to purchase a separate license first.”

Henderson also said that QA teams “love the technology — which isn't always the case [with testing tools],” in part because it lets them dynamically instrument systems under test, without recompiling. It also lets them easily introduce operating conditions that might take a great deal of effort to simulate using “real-world” testing techniques, Henderson said.


Lab Diagnostics architecture
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Additional touted benefits include a client-server architecture that lets rogramming teams collaborate with off-shore testing facilities, and a built-in SensorPoint management database that facilitates test reuse.

Additional details about SensorPoints and the various components of Field Diagnosts and Lab Diagnostics can be found in our earlier coverage, here.

Availability

Lab Diagnostics is available now. It supports current and future releases of Wind River Linux and VxWorks, and is priced at about $50,000 for a “workgroup” license for five users, not including WorkBench seats.


 
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