ANALYSIS/DESIGN TOOL

Developed by INTERSOLV, Inc., a computer software developer located in Rockville, Maryland, Excelerator 11 is a new software system described by the company as "smarter and more flexible, the next generation of planning, analysis and design tools." Excelerator 11 incorporates technology developed by NASA to provide a complete environment for rules-based expert systems.

ANALYSIS/DESIGN TOOL 1995

In addition to built-in support for many popular methodologies, Excelerator 11 takes advantage of the INTERSOLV LAN Repository's Customizer, which allows a user to construct or tailor any methodology to the user's particular organizational requirements.

In previous versions of the product, INTERSOLV used a procedural language to check the consistency and completeness of the LAN Repository. However, since the main task being executed is comparing patterns, the company decided that a rules-based language was needed. The rules-based language selected was NASA's CLIPS (C Language Integrated Production System), a shell for constructing expert systems. CLIPS was developed by Johnson Space Center to provide high portability, low cost and easy integration with external systems.

INTERSOLV chose CLIPS because the company's technical staff could easily implement the communication to the relational database. The staff was able to expand CLIPS with low level relational database access routines. With this rules-based environment, which the company calls the "INTERSOLV Rules Engine (IRE)," design problems and errors are identified early in development, when they may be corrected quickly and cost effectively.

"The IRE is a key position point in our analysis and design marketing approach," says Shep Bostin, director of Excelerator 11 product management. "Using CLIPS has enabled us to provide complex verification and transformation routines based on pattern matching that would be an order of magnitude more complex and costly if we had to resort to procedural language."

CLIPS was supplied to INTERSOLV by the Computer Software Management and Information Center (COSMIC) (Registered TradeMark), NASA's mechanism for making available to industry, academic and government clients computer programs originally developed by government agencies that have secondary applicability.

COSMIC is a registered trademark of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


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