July 6, 2004
The Software Development Life Cycle is seldom used at my place of work. Unfortunately, recent developments in its use are deemed confidential. Due to this fact, this paper will examine in general terms one of the projects we are undertaking right now while at the same time attempting to maintain our confidentiality.
The project that will be examined is an upgrade to our main Human-Machine Interface (HMI) software: Cimplicity, to SQL Server and to the Windows OS. Cimplicity is a product of the GEFanuc group of General Electric. This group develops a full suite of applications used in the manufacturing environment. By way of introduction, the manufacturing floor environment uses a variety of types of equipment. To control these machines, a specialized computer is used. For the purposes of simplicity (not the program), this paper will refer to them all as PLC's or Programmable Logic Controllers. Most of these PLC's are accessible via the ethernet and communicate to our Protocol Data Units (PDU) in the computer room. These PDU's have Cimplicity installed on them in the form of projects that are named for the various areas or functions of our plant such as GA or General Assembly. The project we are undertaking will be a fundamental change to these PDU's in our computer room. The servers currently run Windows NT and will be upgraded to Windows Server 2003 or Windows 2000 and SQL Server will will be upgraded from version 7 to SQL 2000.
Using SDLC at GM Wilmington Assembly
The most recent history of our HMI software upgrades has been full of small upgrades, hot fixes (quick patches provided by GE) and changes to minor configuration items on the projects themselves. Recently, spurred by an announcement from Microsoft that Windows NT would soon be unsupported, GM decided it was time to upgrade its servers. The new servers would have Windows 2003 Server and any client or... [continues]
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