The FIRST Framework for Interoperable Run-time Software Tools

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John M. Kewley
Radu Prodan


A variety of different program correctness tools are now available to help the software developer write, test and maintain faster, correctly conforming code. The majority of these software tools are independent in nature and can not be used in conjunction with other similar tools. Such tools are therefore not interoperable and, typically, the program must be recompiled with a different set of tool-dependent flags in order to move from one tool to another.

The FIRST project uses CORBA to build an object-oriented framework for real-time software performance and correctness tools. These tools use framework-provided high-level tool services to generate instrumentation which is dynamically inserted into the already running target process.

This paper describes in detail the FIRST tool development framework, classifies different types of tool interoperability and discusses various scenarios in which FIRST profiling and debugging tools can be combined to achieve synergies through interoperability.

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