Wind River's Workbench 2.3 Reflects Multiple Developer Roles
- By John K. Waters
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
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
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.
John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached
at [email protected].