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Fibre Optic to the House NMS


A contract with NEC's line telecommunications equipment (LTE) division developing network management unit (NMU) software for controlling a fibre optic to the premises network.

This project aims to replace the main network with fibre optic lines connecting together a network of hardware units also being provided by NEC to Telecom. NEC have developed a new object oriented language (CX3) and concurrent real time object methodology kernel (CROM) which is UNIX Posix compliant.

The environment is based on the latest research into object oriented methodology and will be a basis for all their future software developments. It is very similar to Smalltalk in philosophy, having the notions of classes, object, messages, service inheritance etc. In fact all base classes are modeled on their Smalltalk counterparts. It is however a far superior language in that it allows for programmatic control of asynchronous threads of execution and also allows for dynamic service management. It has a restricted form of inheritance as compared to C++ in that only services are inherited.

With this background in mind the following tasks were performed:

Review the software requirement specification and understand the nature of the problem.
Developed a data flow diagram using Coad & Yourdon's scheme for showing relationships of software objects.
Assist in testing of base classes such as Timer, Collections, Streams and Magnitude.
Perform preliminary design of a view update class for keeping consistent views of an object database.
Produce detailed design of proposed classes using the Model View Controller paradigm (MVC). There were about twenty classes in all to perform the management of the real world units. For each unit a persistent Model software object existed. This software object was capable of sending various configuration and report messages to the real unit as requested by the user.
Design and implementation of user interface screens. The GUI aspect of CROM is a third party product called OUI and developed by Open Software Associates. This product provides a structured language (OPL) for designing GUI objects and comes with libraries for Motif, MS-Windows. The screens for the NMU were all written in OPL.

Implementation of the NMU software in CX3 was the major task. About ten thousand lines of CX3 were written and tested in the course of four months. The major features of this system were that it modeled the fibre optic network elements and the services that had been allocated for the interfaces to these units. 2M, ISDN, POTS and video services could all be configured to be supplied by the root of the network to the remote units. The messages to the physical units were implemented using a HDLC layer. A simulator was also written to allow for configuring the behaviour and response of messages from a flat file.


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