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Special Report

Understanding the Adoption of ADA: Results of an Industry Survey

  • May 1990
  • By Marthena Carlson, Gordon N. Smith
  • This survey is part of a multi-stage research project that sought to understand the variability in firms' adoption and use of new information technologies. It is a follow-up and elaboration on a case study of the adoption of ADA.
  • Publisher: Software Engineering Institute
    CMU/SEI Report Number: CMU/SEI-90-SR-010
  • Abstract

    In 1983, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) established a policy requiring the use of a new programming language ADA, for the development of all new Mission-Critical Computer Resource (MCCR) software that it purchases. Firms that supply the DoD with these systems have shown considerable variation in their decisions to incorporate this new technology into their products and production processes. This survey is part of a multi-stage research project that sought to understand the variability in firms' adoption and use of new information technologies. The present report is a follow-up and elaboration on a case study of the adoption of ADA which is described in CMU/SEI-89-TR-028, Understanding the Adoption of ADA: A Field Study Report.

    Participants in the survey were 123 business and technical people from 69 business units that supply the DoD with MCCR software systems and services. The survey explored factors pertaining to respondents' technical and market environments in an attempt to describe depth of adoption and to describe the differences between the firms with active ADA contracts and those without active contracts. For firms that have adopted ADA the report describes aspects of the language and tools that are considered most useful in different application areas. At present, 85% of the units have proposed to use ADA as a primary implementation language, and 70% have been awarded a contract in which ADA is the primary implementation language. Within the context of this study ADA contract awards have been in the following application areas: aircraft engines, attack radar, display processors, flight control, flight trainers, ground control vehicles, night vision, radar warning receivers, missiles, space command and control, and tactical command and control. Survey participants reported that ADA is being used in 50% of the new development contracts and is being proposed for use in 60% of the contracts in the proposal stage.

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