Eclipse Finance Day 2014: What Finance Systems can learn from Embedded Systems

Thomas Schuetz from Protos Software showed some surprising similarities between embedded and finance systems: Both need to run a long period of time without human interaction, they shouldn’t show “odd” behavior, and you can’t simply shut them down to look for a bug.

Granted, lives are much less at risk when a financial software crashes (as opposed to, say, a pacemaker). So at first glance, the strict safety rules which apply to embedded systems seem too strict for financial software. But safety is built on top of reliability. And we very much want reliability in any system we build.

An important tool here is tracing. Tracing is the pedantic brother of logging. The goal is to collect enough data to simulate the state of the system at any point in time.

In a demonstration, he showed a demo for project eTrice. In a mix of a textual and UI editors, he created a simple application with two objects that could send data back and forth. Since everything is based on EMF, changes on one side are immediately reflected on the other. As a free bonus, you get a sequence diagram of the whole process by clicking a button after the application has finished.

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