Ben Brosgol and Greg Gicca look at agility, tool qualification and the new DO-178C standard in this article in Military Embedded Systems.
Abstract: The DO-178C standard improves upon the previous DO-178B version by better supporting newer concepts in software development processes and methods. The new standard contains a core document and four supplements. The core document is an updated version of DO-178B with clarifications, improvements and many known issues addressed. The supplements clarify certification using object oriented technology and related techniques, model based development and verification, formal methods, and software tool qualification considerations. This paper will discuss the new DO-178C guidance for tool qualification and will present an approach to tool qualification based on iterative and agile development methods. Through this approach tools may be qualified at a lower cost and more importantly re-qualified for new software development environments as tools sets (such as compilers) are updated during the main application’s certified development life span.