DEM (Development Environment Manager) is an open source command line tool to manage containerized Development Environments.
Currently, only the Linux operating system and the Docker Container Engine is supported.
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Learn by doing! Try our tutorial with a simple embedded project!
Developing Embedded Software
Writing software for other architectures than our host usually requires a lot of different tools. The software tools used for a specific project can be grouped and they form a Development Environment. To make it simpler to work with these tools, they are typically bundled together into an IDE (Integrated Development Environment).
Loose coupling between tools
One of the biggest disadvantages of IDEs is that sometimes it is hard to use the underlying integrated tools separately. They might depend on the IDE itself or each other, so standalone usage can be difficult and the whole IDE installation is required.
DEM's goal is to reduce these dependencies and provide the possibility of standalone usage.
Separated environments for the tools
In a generic setup, the used tools can interfere with each other or the underlying host system, causing hardly detectable and fixable issues throughout the development process. It can be really devastating to see two PCs generating different binaries from the same source, and after days of debugging to find out that an environment variable had a different value for some obscure reason.
To eliminate this problem, the tools need to operate in their own isolated environments. A lightweight and fast solution for isolation is containerization. The tools get built into their respective container images, and the way they communicate with the host system can be controlled.
Scaleable tool management
Changes in the tools used for development may be necessary several times during the development lifecycle. DEM makes the change easy by providing a way to quickly swap tool images:
- to use a different version of the same tool
- to use a completely different tool
Containerization ensures the safe coexistence of the same tools with different version numbers.
Adding a new tool is as simple as to change one, making the Development Environment very scalable.
Reliable Development Environment sharing
To create software predictively and effectively, it is crucial to have a consistent
Development Environment for every developer in the organization.
With DEM, you can easily share the same environment with every coworker.
Quick and reproducible setup
Before starting to work on a project, setting up the required tools can be a time-consuming task. Using DEM to install a new Development Environment is a single command.
If some modifications must be added to an old project no one worked on for a while, installing the required toolset can be an exhausting task. With DEM the Development Environments can be stored in a Catalog and can be reinstalled whenever needed.