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Real-Time Application Development with OSEK: A Review of the OSEK Standards

November 2003 Technical Note
Peter H. Feiler

This 2003 report examines the OSEK OS, OSEK COM, and OSEK OIL specifications from the perspective of a real-time application developer.


Software Engineering Institute

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OSEK is an abbreviation for a German term that translates to "open systems and the corresponding interfaces for automotive electronics." OSEK OS is the operating system specification and OSEK COM is the communication specification. Both are application program interface (API) standards for automotive real-time application development. They are complemented by OSEK Implementation Language (OIL), a modeling language for describing the configuration of an OSEK application and operating system.

This paper covers the SEI evaluation of these standards from the perspective of real-time application development. The SEI identified shortcomings in the description and semantics of certain services offered by the OSEK API. These shortcomings introduce unnecessary complexity to application developers and limit application portability. The SEI also identified the potential of OIL as an architectural modeling language to support design-time analyses, such as schedulability analysis. OIL's potential as a basis for generating both real-time OS data tables and an application runtime executive was examined. Utilizing OIL in this way simplifies application component development. Correct use of OSEK API functionality is then relegated to a generation tool that operates on OIL. Such improvements would facilitate practitioners' adoption of OSEK by reducing its perceived complexity.