International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

May 2013

 

We can count on Ada

Third edition brings increased security and reliability

Janice Blondeau

Originally developed for the US Department of Defense to consolidate programming languages in military applications, the highly reliable Ada programming language is also used in medical applications, air traffic control, banking and other high-risk industries. Recently Ada has become more flexible and secure with the publication of the third edition of ISO/IEC 8652: Information technology - Programming languages – Ada.

Ada in a medical environment

Widely recognized for its security and reliability, Ada is used in several healthcare applications where software errors can cost lives. In the medical sector Ada programming language is used with biomedical instrumentation, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging and medical analysis programmes.

Protection against malicious use

The latest version of Ada features “contract-based programming” which significantly strengthens programmes against bugs and malicious use. This is found in very few other programming languages.

 

ISO/IEC 8652: Information technology - Programming languages - Ada, was developed by ISO/IEC JTC (Joint Technical Committee) 1: Information technology, SC (Subcommittee) 22: Programming languages, their environments and system software interfaces.

Confidence in Ada’s security and dependability

“By publishing Ada as an International Standard, users know that any updates will be accessible to developers around the world, and have confidence in the stability of the updates,” says Dr. Joyce Tokar, Convenor of the working group that developed the Standard.

User needs important

The revision responds to real user needs, for example by improving portability, interfacing to other languages, adding formal support for contract-based programming, and continuing to improve object-oriented and real-time capabilities. The latest version further enhances its capability and expressiveness, as well as the dependability, safety and security of programmes using the language.

 

Ada programming language was named after Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (1815–1852), who is credited as being the first computer programmer. She was the daughter of poet Lord Byron.

 

  • The thirds edition of Ada features “contract-based programming” which significantly strengthens it against mis-use.
  • Ada is used in several healthcare applications where its security and reliability are key benefits.
  • Augusta Ada King is credited as being the first computer programmer. (Photo: Wikicommons, Portrait: Margaret Sarah Carpenter)

 

Ada programming language

Developed in the 1970s for the U.S. Department of Defense, Ada was first implemented in the 1980s. Its safety-critical support features means that Ada is now used for military applications, in aviation and air traffic control, and in certain biomedical applications.

 

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