Supporting Low Code and No Code
Systematic’s SitaWare features a modular and customisable back end that means your integration teams will not need to deal with complicated coding and maintenance.
As pressure on the pool of skilled software developers and engineers tightens across all sectors, the rise of “Low Code” and “No Code” software has emerged to ensure that software users can customise their sector-specific software. Defence is no different, with military end users striving to acquire and deploy de-risked solutions that have lower maintenance and support costs – particularly if the onus on software maintenance is placed on the end-user’s organisation.
The move towards application and plug-in approaches for software development and deployment allows for greater customisation of a software product without going through the painful process of having to upgrade the wider software environment. This flexibility means that a stable software baseline can be implemented, with users enjoying a longer service life for a product that they have more control over. The addition of software development kits (SDKs) also mean that development and integration of new applications and modules can be done relatively easily.
With the digitisation of the battlespace from the fixed-site operations centre right down to the dismounted soldier, ensuring that soldiers can maximise the utility of their battle management systems (BMS) and planning tools is paramount. Both “low code” and “no code” approaches come with their benefits and drawbacks, however the SitaWare suite can support both practices according to an organisation’s software policies and doctrine.
The no-code approach to tailoring a solution
Before considering a low-code/no-code solution, evaluating the baseline capabilities of a software platform can help reduce the need to introduce an alternative that may require in-house developer support. Highly configurable software platforms may provide enough of a functionality that no additional applications need to be delivered and maintained, thereby minimising the footprint for technical support and development time.
“The SitaWare suite has been designed to be flexible and easy to use from the outset – you don’t need to be deeply technical to get started with SitaWare,” Hans Jørgen Bohlbro, Vice President, Product Management (Defence), said.
“Configurations for the user interface and beyond mean that setting up a SitaWare user can take into account a range of options, such as custom symbology, map types, layers, pictures, communications protocols, and more,” Bohlbro added.
Deployed by over 50 countries and integrated with major military hardware systems such as ruggedised tablets, software defined radios, and more, the SitaWare suite is likely to have a configuration ready – avoiding the need for low-code or no-code deployments.
The role of agreed norms in the defence and military operational environment – from joint interoperability doctrines to engineering standards governing a sensor’s outputs – further help to ensure that simple configurations of equipment can allow technology to be readily integrated into the digital battlespace.
Having a code-free solution means that procurement teams and capability deployment personnel can focus on delivering the capability to end users, with third-party software and hardware being supported elsewhere for integration into the platform. Adding in new capabilities into a BMS platform is much faster, with drag-and-drop functionality on some platforms’ building tools making implementation much easier.
Visual data processing flow configuration is also an option to enable easy changes to a system. This process involves changing the position of boxes – which represent coded solutions such as sensor inputs or communications routing – in a graphical user interface (GUI). Changes within the GUI change the broader functioning of the software platform’s configuration, and the outputs for users. This flow configuration is a feature of Systematic’s SitaWare Insight intelligence support software. Managing intelligence cycle workflows or the position of particular inputs into a workflow – such as sensor systems or communications links – can be performed through graphical tools. As a result, users are able to prioritise inputs from certain intelligence systems to meet a commander’s intelligence requirements.
Low code approaches for a bespoke solution
Low code solutions involve the deployment of some coding knowledge to integrate a software module into a broader software architecture. This can mean utilising either software development teams on short-term projects, or employing non-specialists with small amounts of computer coding experience to create a connection between two software modules.
Connecting the outputs of a sensor system, for example, to a battle management system’s transport services API and corresponding data model may require the translation of a raw data feed so it can be placed into the software data bus for presentation on a map. Similarly, a special radio may require a custom driver to optimise its performance when integrated with a BMS, and some coding may be required to accommodate specific waveforms, data transmission protocols, and more.
Systematic is able to support this, through the SitaWare SDK that allows users and equipment manufacturers to integrate new technologies into the SitaWare suite. Systematic has also developed high-level APIs that allow customers or integrators to successfully add third-party technologies to SitaWare with just a few lines of code. Systematic can also provide bespoke integration support by our own engineers and services teams to ensure that inputs coming from legacy radios through to cutting edge sensor technologies can all be utilised to ensure mission success.