Military Embedded Systems

Ada 2012 language revision approved and published by ISO


December 19, 2012

John McHale

Editorial Director

Military Embedded Systems

GENEVA, Switzerland. Officials at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) approved and published the latest version of the Ada programming language – Ada 2012. New features include enhancements in contract-based programming. The announcement was made by officials at Ada Resource Association (ARA) and Ada-Europe.

The revision was under the auspices of ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22/WG9 and was conducted by the Ada Rapporteur Group (ARG) subunit of WG9, with sponsorship in part from Ada-Europe and the ARA. The formal approval of the standard was issued on Nov. 20 by ISO/IEC JTC 1, and publication of the standard was on Dec. 15.

Enhancements include the ability to specify preconditions and postconditions for subprograms, as well as invariants for private, or encapsulated types. These take the form of Boolean expressions that may be interpreted -- under programmer control -- as run-time conditions needed to be checked. The contract-based programming features also fit smoothly with Ada’s Object-Oriented Programming model. They also support the type substitutability guidance that is supplied in the Object-Oriented Technologies and Related Techniques Supplement (DO-332) to the new avionics software safety standard DO-178C / ED-12C.

Other new features in the revision include enhancements to the containers library, additional expressiveness through features such as conditional expressions and more powerful iterators, and support for multicore platforms (task affinities, and the extension of the Ravenscar profile – standardized in Ada 2005 as a predictable tasking subset for high-integrity real-time systems – to multiprocessor and multicore environments).

“I would like to give special thanks to Randy Brukardt for his editorial work on the Language Reference Manual, to Ed Schonberg and the Ada Rapporteur Group (ARG) for their excellent work in developing the language revision, and to all members of WG 9 in producing a quality document that achieved unanimous approval from our parent organization,” says Dr. Joyce Tokar, Convenor of WG9. “Ada 2012 is a significant technical accomplishment.”

For access to a technical summary of Ada 2012, along with an explanation of the language’s benefits and a links to more information, visit, a website maintained by the Ada Resource Association.


Avionics - Software
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