Background: This document describes the implementation of an automated document-generation process for the creation of software-quality reports compliant with the European Cooperation for Space Standardization (ECSS) standards. Research statement: We propose a solution for the generation of technical documents that collect and aggregate data from different sources. In addition, we analyze the feasibility of building a solution that supports engineers in the generation of these complex artifacts. Situating the case: The structure and content of Software Product Assurance Milestone Reports and Software Verification Reports are defined in ECSS-Q-ST-80C and ECSS-M-ST-40C. Companies developing software for the European Space Agency must prepare these reports to detail development activities and the subsequent quality of software products. These reports incorporate data generated from different activities and managed with different software engineering tools. Case study: The automation techniques described in this paper were designed to create complex documents (quality and verification reports) based on the use of XML for data exchange and integration, and a set of connectors to collect software engineering data generated using different applications for requirements management, architectural design, testing, etc. Conclusions: The feasibility of the proposed solution was validated by applying it to two projects in the aerospace industry. The conclusion demonstrates that the automatic generation of complex documents from multiple sources of data is economically feasible and may produce benefits, including time to delivery and a significant reduction of production costs, by using existing XML-related technologies.
Aerospace industry; data harvesting; document automation; software development; software engineering; software quality; XML-based data aggregation