Core Strengths
Systems & Software Engineering


The Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) Intelligent Systems Division has experience performing systems and software engineering projects related to:

  • Advanced database construction
  • Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) integration
  • Data mining and visualization
  • Design and development
  • Distributed computing
  • Encryption and data security
  • Independent verification and validation (IV&V)
  • Integrating disparate systems
  • Legacy system support and migration
  • Service-oriented architecture
  • Trade studies

Systems and Software Engineering

The Intelligent Systems Division has approximately 150 staff members with technical degrees in computer science or a related field. Educational levels vary from bachelor to doctorate degrees, and the staff has a wide range of experience from microprocessor-based systems to large, highly distributed computing environments. More than 40 systems and software engineering projects are active at any given time, ranging from small consulting contracts to multimillion dollar development projects. The software engineering process is a major focus and we use a software life cycle appropriate for each specific project. Because SwRI does not maintain a product line, custom solutions are offered for each project undertaken; therefore, the particular software process applied for each client is unique and clearly identified in SwRI's proposed scope of work. SwRI staff regularly participate in conferences and standards activities and publish papers in areas of project activity.

Development Laboratories

Nearly 20 software development laboratories are maintained and filled with state-of-the-art computers and software purchased by SwRI. Our staff is fluent in a large number of languages with the primary emphasis on C#, C++, and Java®. Operating system platforms such as the Microsoft Windows™ family and several variants of UNIX are in widespread use. Because of our staff diversity and years of experience, most computer languages and operating systems have been used.

Systems and Software Process

With more than 30 years of systems and software development experience, we have formulated a disciplined process for conducting systems and software development projects. This process, modeled after the Capability Maturity Model® Integration (CMMI®) developed by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University, focuses on the development of quality systems, on-time and within budget. An integrated management and engineering process is used across the organization. Information is shared across projects within the Organization. As a result, problems are anticipated and minimized, or prevented altogether.

In 2008, a Class A SCAMPISM, the Standard CMMI appraisal method for process improvement, was conducted in the Automation and Data Systems Division against the Software Engineering Institute's Capability Maturity Model Integration for Development, Version 1.2, resulting in a Level 5 rating. The SCAMPI A is the most rigorous method and the only method that can result in a rating. The CMMI-DEV provides guidance for managing, measuring, and monitoring development processes. Level 5, the highest level of the CMMI-DEV model, requires the use of standard processes across the organization for both the management and engineering aspects of projects. Those standard processes are tailored to suit the needs of a particular project. Additionally, at Level 5, we establish quantitative objectives for quality and process performance, and use them together with an understanding of common causes of variation, to manage process improvement. The benefit of our software process improvement program to our clients lies in its contribution to more predictable and efficient software projects, producing high-quality software systems, on time and within budget.

Related Terminology

software engineering  •  software development  •  ITS systems  •  medical systems  •  modeling  •  simulation  •  CMMI®  •  intelligent transportation system

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 9 technical divisions.