In previous blog posts, I have gone into some depth on testing, architecture and data management for models. With this post, I will cover how these three activities for the foundation of any Model-Based Design process.
Foundations and core competencies
At later stages in the adoption of Model-Based Design
processes task-specific groups will emerge (development, verification, and systems.) However, at the start of the Model-BAsed Design process users from all groups need to determine the “common language” that will be used to develop their project (1).
Architecture and data sure, but why testing?
The identification of architecture and data as foundational concepts is generally well understood. Combined they define how people will develop the model through interfaces and clear communication. So why testing in the trinity? It returns to the core concept of Model-Based Design that models are at the center of the development process. To ensure that the model can be used consistently through the development process they need to be “locked down”(2) with test cases.
Driven by this objective, the testing environment is designed at the start of the development process. The requirements of the test environment should be addressed within the architectural and data infrastructure. The good news is that best practices for the three “legs”(2) of the MBD stool are already in the well defined; it is a matter of honing them to your specific project and environment.
This post is not intended to be technical; rather it is to remind us as we develop new processes to start out with the “best path forward” from the start. In the section about the validation project, I will discuss the next round of tools that are commonly adopted.
(1) I may start using this graphic as my tag for MBD adoption. Crawl = investigate. Walk = initial. Run = validated. Flying = optimizing.
(2) Tests cases are elaborated as the model is developed. The “lock down” is achieved through the use of a continuous build and test server.
(3) The metaphor of a tripod or stool can be overused. But, to push it one last time, this is your stepping stool to the next round of MBD tools and processes. Build it well and it forms a strong foundation.