ATS Product Interface Migration
In 2016, our regular client, a significant player in the rail market, started upgrading activities for their globally deployed Automatic Train Supervision (ATS) dispatching system. Developed decades ago, the ATS product had an outdated Motif-based GUI, requiring extensive code refactoring to update it. Thus, keeping the product within the outdated interface became risky and costly for our client, and may have created concerns with the management of complex rail networks.
Optimize ATS product lifecycle costs by simplifying its updates.
Shift ATS product to the up-to-date hardware-accelerated GUI framework in order to provide seamless updates.
To ensure the possibility to continuously extend the product functionality, it was required to move all the subsystems within ATS from the outdated Motif to the modern Qt framework, which also allowed for better reliability and user experience. As a top priority, PSA assessed if the Qt framework met the GUI requirements of an Automatic Train Supervision system and if it could violate safety. For this, our team:
Investigated ATS product architecture, GUI functional requirements, and communication opportunities of a promoted framework
Created Proof of Concept (PoC) application showing the possibility of new elements being built within Qt-based ATS product
To successfully replicate the functionality of the ATS product on the new interface framework, PSA provided porting of the UI source code. Throughout these activities, we implemented:
Development and testing environment setup
Baseline interface modules to be used within all the product elements
Redesign of windows, forms, and pop-up menus for the ATS product
Update of a source code to use Qt-based elements with functioning business logic
This allowed for the transfer of all subsystems within the client’s ATS product to the new UI.
To provide seamless updates for the product after launch, PSA created guidelines that allow for the execution of:
Full migration to the new interface framework
Development of new elements within the new framework
Internationalization of the product
Automated tests of PSA-selected rail solution, which are required every time when updates are integrated
As a result, the source code of the ATS module was updated and could be linked against both Motif-based and QT-based frameworks. The New Qt-based interface allows users to easily check, update and edit real-time information that contributes to the ATS system for reliable and unhindered management of complex rail areas.
- Environment setup
- New GUI design
- GUI update in Qt Designer
- Source code update
- Documents preparation
- Test cases
- Unit testing
The updated product launched to the international market
ATS lifecycle costs were reduced
- Updates for ATS product has accelerated