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Wind River's Workbench 2.3 Reflects Multiple Developer Roles

In the wake of its first-ever worldwide user conference, Wind River Systems made a spate of announcements around "refreshes" across its product line. The biggest news for device software developers is the company's plan to "radically redefine the development tools space" with four new configurations of its Workbench dev tool.

Wind River’s Workbench is the industry's first Eclipse-based dev tool for device software. It offers “deep capability for developers across the entire development process in a single integrated suite,” the company says, and supports development on the VxWorks and Wind River Linux operating systems, as and with the latest release, the ThreadX operating system from Express Logic, Red Hat Linux, kernel.org 2.6 Linux, and MontaVista Linux.

Workbench 2.3 will now be available in four configurations, designed to allow organizations developing device software to outfit their developers with a specific package tuned to address their particular requirements, says John Fanelli, Wind River’s VP of product planning and management.

"In the device software space, developers span multiple roles,” Fanelli says. “There is, for example, a developer whose responsibility it is to verify, validate and bring up system boards. There's a developer who might be working on a project or application that has an existing tool chain or maybe even a legacy product that might be 8- or 16-bit. And then there are developers who work purely on applications and don't really care too much about the OS underneath. But then there are those guys who go soup to nuts, who understand how to bring up a board, understand the actual target device, understand that they need to debug a kernel and actually do some application development or middleware integration on top of that."

The new Workbench configurations include:

Wind River Workbench: provides a complete development solution for device software targeting VxWorks-, Linux- and ThreadX-based devices. Developers have access to capabilities required for hardware bring-up, platform and system software development, kernel-level development and application-level development. This release also incorporates deep dynamic visual debugging and validation capabilities. Offered as a tightly integrated component of Wind River’s VxWorks- or Linux-based platforms, or as a standalone development suite for developing device software.

Wind River Workbench, Application Edition: designed to provide a development solution for Linux application developers who do not require such advanced capabilities as hardware bring-up or kernel-level development and debugging support. Can be used to develop and debug on a target device that is being created or natively on a Linux host.

Wind River Workbench, Desktop Edition: targeted to developers looking to complement their existing development tool chain and/or debugger with an integrated development environment. Provides baseline development suite capabilities, including a project system, build system, editor and source-code analysis capabilities identical to those offered in all other configurations. Can also be used simply as a code composition and comprehension environment.

Wind River Workbench, On-Chip Debugging Edition: aimed at developers engaged early in the device software development cycle on things like initial board bring-up and validation, developing device drivers, incorporating low-level software capabilities, and developing C/C++ applications. Offers a fully featured Workbench development environment optimized for the capabilities of JTAG-based debugging using Wind River ICE and Wind River Probe.

Wind River, which bills itself as a Device Software Optimization (DSO) company, develops and sells platforms and development tools for what used to be called embedded systems, and which the company has effectively re-named device software. Wind River provided an embedded OS that was installed on the Mars Exploration Rover "Spirit."

The Wind River Workbench 2.3 is available today in Early Access for select customers and will be generally available in June 2005. For more information, go to: www.windriver.com/products/development_tools/ide/wind_river_workbench.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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