DOD sets up enterprise license for tools to be used in final Y2K assurance checks

DOD sets up enterprise license for tools to be used in final Y2K assurance checks

By Pamela Houghtaling

Special to GCN

The Defense Department has added several computer-aided software engineering tools to the categories covered by its enterprise software licensing agreements.

DOD has purchased bulk quantities of McCabe IQ from McCabe & Associates Inc. of Columbia, Md., and WinRunner 2000 from Mercury Interactive Corp. of Sunnyvale, Calif., for final year 2000 assurance checks as well as for future software development.

'We want organizations to use these tools,'' said Bill Vass, director of technical services and chief information officer in the office of the assistant secretary of Defense for command, control, communications and intelligence.

The military services already have tools to test the quality of their code fixes, but the testing might not be as rigorous as the department would like, Vass said. 'Our goal is to make Y2K a nonevent,'' he said. 'If we do our job right, everyone will wonder what the big deal was.''

He said he plans to move the McCabe IQ tool suite into the mainstream acquisition process after 2000.

Michael Smith, director of product management at McCabe, said the company has held previous DOD contracts for missile control systems and radar tracking.

'We had been talking with DOD about standardizing our product line for quality and testing,'' he said. 'The licensing agreement gives access to our quality assurance, testing, re-engineering and year 2000 products.''

Smith said the tools do source code analysis for applications developed in Cobol, C, C++, Ada, Fortran, Java and Visual Basic.

The Visual 2000 component of IQ graphically indicates what percentage of date operations were exercised in tests of the renovated code.

The Visual Toolset component of IQ consists of McCabe QA for measuring the application quality, McCabe Test for testing and monitoring test coverage, and McCabe Reengineer for analyzing the quality of legacy code in re-engineering projects. On new software projects, McCabe QA tells developers whether code has good quality, Smith said, and McCabe Test evaluates the components as they are written.

DOD users can select one of the two McCabe packages for Microsoft Windows NT and SunSoft Solaris platforms'Visual 2000 or Visual Toolkit. The other package can be installed later after uninstalling the first and obtaining a new license key. A license covers one machine with four to seven concurrent users.

Mercury Interactive's WinRunner 2000 does automated regression testing of year 2000 corrections made on any system with a graphical interface. It can recertify systems by rerunning all the previous regression test scripts.

Vass said the tool will help with what he called push-and-poke instances, when changes in one place cause code changes somewhere else.

The WinRunner 2000 license is for a single user on a single machine. The language-independent software runs under Windows 9x, NT and Unix.

Demand for the McCabe and Mercury Interactive CD-ROMs, which went out to service and agency CIOs, has exceeded original estimates, but not all licenses have been activated, Vass said.

The software can be redistributed. It is free to DOD users with maintenance support for a year and limited training.

The software distribution is currently centralized through Vass' office to speed up year 2000 testing. DOD users must submit electronic request forms to their service or agency CIOs, who forward the forms to Vass' office.

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