The HIS Exchange Process for Requirements–all you ever wanted to know

Have you heard of the HIS Process? Do you know what it is? In a nutshell, it is a detailed process description, developed by the automotive industry for exchanging requirements.  You can download it here. The process has nothing to do with ReqIF per se, but ReqIF is well-suited to be used for the transport layer.  Read on if you would like to learn more about the HIS Process.

Rodin Handbook Now Available in Print

A while ago, we supported the EU project Deploy and produced a handbook for the Rodin platform, a tool for creating formal specifications using the Event-B method.  This book was a great success, but only available electronically (for free, licensed under a Creative Commons license).

Due to high demand, in particular from universities teaching formal methods, we decided to produce a print version of the handbook.  We are pleased to announce the availability of the Rodin Handbook in print - you can buy your copy at Amazon - of course, the electronic version will always be free.

ProR 0.10.0 Available Via formalmind Studio - Download Now!

You may have noticed that a lot of time has passed since the last release or ProR, which was 0.9.0.  Be assured that we've been busy behind the scenes: The next release, 0.10.0, will comply with the Eclipse Release Process.  And this is a lot of work.

What we published so far were not "releases", but "snapshots" or "milestones", according to the official definition of the Eclipse Foundation.  This was a pragmatic choice: This allowed us to give users early access to ProR, without having to worry about the relatively steep overhead that Eclipse requires.

Traceability between UML and Requirements with ProR

Working with Requirements should not be an isolated activity - they interact with many aspects of the development process: progress is tracked by checking how many requirements have been implemented; tests demonstrate that requirements are correctly implemented; elements of the system specification show how requirements will be realized; and much more.

Reporting for ProR - the Results

Download the Thesis (German)

Half a year ago, we announced that a student, Said Salem, would work on creating a better reporting solution for ProR in the context of his master thesis.  The good news is: He completed his thesis and passed the exam.  The bad news: The resulting implementations did not mature beyond a prototype stage, meaning that we will not incorporate the results into the RMF code base for now.  He pledged to publish his code on gitHub (some is already there), allowing other parties (including Formal Mind) to pick it up and develop it to maturity.

What's keeping you from using ProR in production?

The ProR tool already made an impact, both as the reference implementation of the ReqIF standard, and as an important puzzle piece for Eclipse-based Systems Engineering.  But we also know that there is still some work to be done, before ProR becomes fit for industrial use.  For this, we need your help.  Read on to learn how you can tell us what's keeping you from using ProR in production. But before that, we'd like to point out another change:

Formal Mind wishes you a peaceful holiday season

Another year has passed, and we would like to thank our customers and the users of our technologies for working with us.

The holiday season is a good time for reflecting, and we are proud to see our motto - science for systems engineering - applied in practice.  What we achieved has been made possible by customers who believe in our technologies and who subscribe to our principles.  One of our most valued principles is openness: science should not be an end in itself: It is a means for making this world a better place. We believe that openness acts as a multiplier that increases overall wealth.  Here are three examples of our modest contributions in this respect in 2013:

If you need to comply with ISO 26262, IEC 61508 or similar standards, you may need to work more formal

It's quite impressive how safe cars, planes and trains are today.  Looking at this, it seems that we understand really well how to build reliable systems. This is in part due to safety standards.  When they are not followed, as it seems to have been the case with Toyota, things can go wrong.  Safety standards evolve, for two reasons: They evolve as we learn more about safety, and they evolve, as they need to adapt to the complexity found in today's systems.  That's why they started to recommend the use of formal methods.

Before we look into formal methods, and how they relate to requirements, let's get an overview of safety standards.  The following figure has been taken from the Deploy Wiki, which provides quite a bit of analysis.

Safety Standards

ReqIF is here - what now?

The Requirements Interchange Format (ReqIF) came a long way, ever since its inception in 2004, when members of the Herstellerinitiative Software (HIS), a trade association of five major car manufacturers, decided to commission the creation of a requirements exchange format.  Step by step, the standard became more mature and was changing patronage, until it finally became an international standard of the Object Management Group (OMG), a not-for-profit computer industry standards consortium.

Recently the focus for ReqIF changed from standardization (pretty much done) to applicability. In particular, users and tool vendors are actively ensuring interoperability of the various tools that support ReqIF, by working together in an Implementor Forum that is lead by ProSTEP iViP, an association for the manufacturing industry.  Eight tool vendors work peacefully together to ensure that requirements data exported by one tool can be processed by another.

This is good news for manufacturers and suppliers of industries where requirements are exchanged.  But what does this all mean?  Who is affected, what changes are expected?  This article makes an attempt to answer some of these questions.

RMF/ProR 0.8.0 available

The RMF team is proud to announce the 0.8.0 version of RMF and ProR (Download) to spice up your summer.  The most visible improvements regards the handling of default values, which we will describe further below.  You can also import examples into your workspace via File | New | Example.... This should be useful to new users, to get an idea of what's possible.

But there are also a number of back-end improvements that either resolve issues or speed up things.  We hope that you will give ProR 0.8.0 a try.  If you have ProR already installed, you can update via Help | Check for Updates.

Our Blogs

We want to share our latest insights regarding formal methods and requirements as well as the latest developments regarding our OpenSource tools, ProB and ProR.  We will post new information roughly twice a month, so you won't be overwhelmed.  You can either subscribe via email (below), subsribe to our RSS Feed or visit this page.


Dr. Michael Jastram

Geschäftsführer / CEO

+49 (162) 274 83 94