Overture is a free IDE for formal modelling in computer-based systems. It’s an open source project that has been started with a goal to develop various modelling and analysis tools for various Vienna Development Method (VDM) dialects including VDM-SL, VDM-PP, and VDM-RT. Overture tools are written in Java and built on top of Eclipse platform to provide a more generic workbench to its users.
Overture comprises of three main parts: IDE, Core Library, and Tools. The Integrated Development Environment (IDE) consists of an editor, a parser, a type checker, a proof obligation viewer, an interpreter, and a debugger. The Core Library implements all the core language parts. And the Tools comprises of all necessary elements for built process.
Now before we take a deep look on this free IDE, let’s see how to download and install Overture.
Download and Install Overture:
Overture is available as a freeware and can be downloaded using the link given at the end of this article. The download will consist of a zip file of size 82.2 MB. After extracting the file content, you can simply double click on the application file to run Overture.
This free IDE is completely portable and runs without prior installation. The only requirement of the tool is the presence of Java Runtime Environment in your system.
A Brief Overview of Overture:
Overture is highly comprehensive. It provides support for modelling and analysis in Vienna Development Method (VDM) in three different languages.
- VDM-SL: the specification language of VDM.
- VDM-PP or (VDM++): an extension of VDM-SL with object oriented approach.
- VDM-RT: an extension of VDM-PP for specifying distributed and real-time systems.
Overture provides a bunch of open source Eclipse plugins and supports the development of precise models for software development in any of the above mentioned VDM dialects. Plus, its ability to reuse components and extend features allow users and researchers to experiment with the tool for abstract modelling and analysis of their projects.
The Overture Editor comes with advanced features like keyword highlighting, syntax or type checking, Combinatorial testing, etc., which makes it easier for you to develop and test applications. Plus it comes with an integrated debugger which supports stepping and multiple (conditional or hit-count) breakpoint options. So you can easily develop VDM applications, test and debug them, or even deploy them to the server using this free IDE tool.
There is lot more to say about Overture, however, the more you use it on your own, the more you will explore. So here I am going to summarize its main functionalities as key features leaving the rest of it to try out yourself.
Key Features of of this free IDE:
- Free IDE for software development in computer-based systems.
- Allows reuse of existing components.
- Supports multiple VDM languages including VDM-SL, VDM-PP, and VDM-RT.
- Easy to use Editor and Interpreter.
- Integrated parser.
- Type and syntax checking in real time.
- Report Errors.
- Variable inspection.
- Testing and debugging.
- Run-time checking of conditions, invariants, and measures.
- Advanced breakpoints support.
- On the fly log generation of deployment and execution.
- Generation of proof obligations.
- Generation of test coverage.
- Export/Import of UML 2.0 class diagrams.
The Final Verdict:
Overture is a nice free tool for developing applications for computer-based systems. It provides great support for VDM languages and offers an extensible platform with ability to reuse components. Overture is an IDE for developing specific type of applications, and is surely not a tool for novice users.