|Responsible KEG Investigator:
Type of Project: Knowledge Transfer
Date Commissioned: 10/2004
This KTP focussed on the introduction of a structured software development
methodology and a complete re-write of two existing Key Traffic Systems (KTS)
products: KeyLines and KeySignals. Both products were initially created as
enhancements to the AutoCAD, Computer Aided Design (CAD), software, to allow
road traffic engineers to more easily design road marking and traffic signal
plans. The software has been very successful over the years, with a dominant
market share in the UK, but was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain, due
to the unstructured coding employed in its creation. Also the way the software
was written precluded its adaptation for overseas markets.
In this project we have introduced a more structured development methodology
into the company (we ran a training day for company staff as part of the
project) and demonstrated the value of this in their KeyLines and KeySignals
products. We have introduced several innovative software practices into the
? Object oriented design and implementation, using UML
for modelling and design.
? Data driven programming: specifying behaviour
through data, not just in the code.
? Programming to interfaces: building a
middle layer between the application and AutoCAD to allow the easy use of other
In practice these theoretical developments have added the following
innovations to KeyLines and KeySignals:
? Extensibility; the behaviour of the
applications is determined from a set of XML files that specify the traffic
features, the traffic rules that apply to those features, and the user interface
for those features. Thus the product can be readily tailored to UK, US and other
markets without any software being changed.
? Flexibility; the creation of a
separate interface between AutoCAD and the application means that the
application can be ported to other CAD packages without requiring any code
changes, other than a creation of an appropriate generic interface with the new
? Intelligence; in the previous version of the applications once
road marking were put into the CAD drawing, they became a set of lines. In this
project the added markings are maintained as features, with associated rules,
and so can easily be adjusted, within the regulations, without requiring the
engineer to redraw them.
? Maintainability; should the traffic regulations
change, or the CAD product be upgraded there will be no changes required to the
application code, just the interface and XML rules. This modular design will
make a considerable difference in future years.