Development environment aims for highest levels of software quality

June 18, 2013 // By EDN
The latest release of the Atollic TrueSTUDIO integrated development environment – a C/C++ development tool for professional ARM developers – incorporates many new features; TrueSTUDIO v4.1 aims to even further assist embedded developers to write code of the highest quality.

A significant feature added to TrueSTUDIO v4.1 includes the ability to record and display instruction trace data. Other features include the addition of automatic software unit testing within the optional TrueVERIFIER add-module, and a test case debugger within the optional TrueANALYZER add-on module.

The new instruction tracing function records the execution flow in real-time for later analysis. In this way, should an error occur it is possible to interrogate the trace logs and ascertain exactly what the processor was doing before a software error occurred. TrueSTUDIO v4.1 support ETM tracing using a Segger J-Trace JTAG probe, and ETB tracing for compatible ARM Cortex devices using any of the supported JTAG probes, such as the Segger J-Link. The recorded instruction trace log can be displayed in either C mode, mixed C and assembler mode, as well as in pure assembler mode. The trace log has graphical annotations on execution branches, and can be exported to a file for offline analysis.

Integrating seamlessly with TrueSTUDIO, the optional TrueVERIFIER module now has an automatic software testing function that can check return codes and affected global variables for each C function in the project. By examining your source code, TrueVERIFIER can automatically generate a test suite that is compiled, downloaded and executed on the target board automatically. On completion the test results and measured test quality data is transferred and visualised within the TrueSTUDIO IDE. The test engine and user interface have also been updated within this new release. In addition, and ideally suiting test driven development, TrueVERIFIER now also supports a test scenario mode, where more complex test scenarios can be designed, thus testing many C functions as a group in a real use-case, rather than just testing each C function on its own.

Featuring a new test case debugger, the optional TrueANALYZER module measures the quality of your system tests by analysing the execution flow when your test procedures exercise the software