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Basics of software standards compliance

Posted: 04 Mar 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:security assessment? safety-critical software? IEC 61508? Risk Reduction Factor? Safety Integrity Levels?

The second class of tool that compliments the requirements traceability tools are tools that document compliance (figure 2). These tools provide detailed templates that document compliance to an industry standard, walking project managers through the required activities needed to gain approval for each stage of development.

Prior to the IEC 61508 standard, software designed for industrial control systems was created on a 'best effort basis', and it was not possible to measure system safety compliance levels. By introducing a development approach based on a system safety assessment, IEC 61508 provides an objective means of creating safety-critical systems, helping to eliminate the one-size-fits-all approach inherent to ad-hoc software development. This is good news for software project managers, because it provides an empirical means of determining the level of development rigor required for a given software project, ensuring that effort is not expended where it is not necessary.

Figure 2: The LDRA Compliance Management System (LCMS) provides detailed templates that walk teams through all the steps needed to achieve compliance to an industry standard. (Click on image to enlarge)

About the author
Jay Thomas, a Technical Development Manager for LDRA Technology, has worked on embedded controls simulation, processor simulation, mission- and safety-critical flight software, and communications applications in the aerospace industry. His focus on embedded verification implementation ensures that LDRA clients in aerospace, medical, and industrial sectors are well grounded in safety-, mission-, and security-critical processes.

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