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 Developed decades ago, the ATS product had an outdated Motif-based GUI, requiring extensive code refactoring to update it. Thus, keeping the product within the outdated interface became risky and costly for our client, and may have created concerns with the management of complex rail networks.


Client Challenge

Optimize ATS product lifecycle costs by simplifying its updates.

Project Objective

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to continuously extend the product functionality, it was required to move all the subsystems within ATS from the outdated Motif to the modern Qt framework, which also allowed for better reliability and user experience.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.

To explore more technical details click here.

Development Included

  • 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

Technology Breakdown

Project size
  • 2 people
  • 1 year

Let's Connect

Learn more about how we engage and what our specialists can do for you
This site includes photos from Pixabay licensed under CC0 Illustrations by Storyset images by Freepik.