No matter what industry you are in, the competition is strong. If you are an embedded software developer means you are most probably under pressure, not only of getting the job done faster than ever before but more effectively as well. To get it done faster and effectively, you need to have higher performance and fewer bugs. This ability is often a function of embedded software design tools you use.
Tools that help you build software quickly and efficiently are what you need, without getting in your way, as well as tools without a lot of workarounds and less than optimal features.
Selecting the right embedded tools for your company can be challenging. We have selected the five most important to consider.
The first thing when selecting the embedded design tool is to make sure the software you choose supports the right devices. Start with making a list of all the devices you are currently using in all your products. Then you need to check if the embedded design software supports those devices. Sometimes the new software might not support devices that are used in older products.
Another thing you will need to consider is the devices you are going to use in the future, which also need to be supported by the embedded design software. Who would want to purchase new tools every time you start using a new device, with higher costs, and provide training for developers to use the new development tool.
Ease of Use
Some tools can be difficult to use and can expand development times, so it is important to choose embedded design software that is easy to use. To make sure you are easy to use, download the software and try it. Many vendors offer a free evaluation period to try embedded design services before you make the purchase. Set up a trial project, that shouldn't be very complicated, but also complex enough for the developers to feel how easy the editor supports code tasks.
Support for Functionality
The next feature you need to pay attention to is the support for different functionality you will need. This includes RTOS (real-time operating system) support, USB, Bluetooth, TCP/IP, and communications hardware and software. Your design might require this functionality, but if the embedded design software doesn't offer support to it, then you will need to design your own solutions that will cost you a lot of time and money.
You should keep in mind the importance of the functional safety standards that provide guidance for software tool qualification, such as ISO 26262.
With today's complex, high-performance applications, you can't spot any perfectly designed software right from the start. Developers may spend a lot of time debugging the applications, and spending a lot of time with a debugger before they come to the perfect design. The speed and capability of the debugger also have an important impact on time-to-market.
The type of tech support vendors provide can be very different. Some of them provide support only in online forums, which might be the most used one, or by e-mail. You can get the answers through these channels, but this support might take some time and prolong the final process of the project.
What you will need to do is find a vendor to offer you good technical support and test it during the evaluation period. You don't have to purchase embedded software design with good technical support from a vendor, but it does matter when you are found in the situation when support is crucial.