Navy researchers eye advanced software tools for automatic generation of man-machine interface code

LAKEHURST, N.J., 24 Dec. 2006. Software engineers at Harmonia Inc. in Blacksburg, Va., are working with the U.S. Navy to use the User Interface Markup Language (UIML) to automatically generate tactical man-machine interface code.

Dec 24th, 2006

LAKEHURST, N.J., 24 Dec. 2006. Software engineers at Harmonia Inc. in Blacksburg, Va., are working with the U.S. Navy to use the User Interface Markup Language (UIML) to automatically generate tactical man-machine interface code.

Harmonia won a $25 million Phase III Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract for a Navy software research project called "Automated Generation of Usability Prototypes and Tactical Software."

This approach uses the open systems-standard UIML as a user interface design language that can be rendered to usability prototypes, tactical man-machine interface code, and object model representations.

Harmonia intends to define an enhanced, UIML-based user interface design process, and tool support needs for this process in order to span the gap between usability and object-oriented software engineering by supporting rapid prototyping of user interfaces for usability engineering

At the same time, Harmonia software engineers will provide the ability to generate object design data for the overall system's object model and tactical man-machine interface code for deployment.

UIML and its associated tools form a bridge between the user interface designer and the application modeler, which enables early and frequent integration of the user interface design process and the application development life cycle, Harmonia officials say.

Bridging the gap between usability and software engineering should save considerable effort by eliminating the manual work necessary to move from usability prototype to tactical man-machine interface software. Potential commercial applications are with any software development activity that includes a human/computer interface.

Harmonia will do the work in Blacksburg, Va., and should be finished by December 2011. Awarding the contract as the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, N.J.

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