Introduction to the Method

About TIMe - The Integrated Method

The Integrated Method (TIMe) is not just a method , but a Methodology , meaning a collection of methods and languages with guidelines for when to use them. We call it The Integrated Method only to keep the name short.
TIMe is a continued improvement of the methodology that was brought forth by The SISU project. TIMe seeks to achieve the higher process maturity levels. TIMe supports Design oriented development, and even goes one step towards making the vision of Property oriented development come true.
TIMe recommends a combination of languages and notations that may be used to analyze, model and ultimately build systems. These are:
In this respect, TIMe integrates these languages and notations. But the foundation of TIMe is independent of these languages, which means that the future of TIMe is not highly dependent on the future of these languages.
TIMe provides:

Object oriented

TIMe is truly object oriented in its approach. It defines its own underlying object and property models, and contains detailed guidelines on:
TIMe is characterised by:

Abstract models

Property models

Service orientation


Design for reuse


Design with reuse

TIMe is centered around a set of models and descriptions capable of expressing domain knowledge, specifications in terms of external properties, system designs in terms of structure and behaviour, implementation mappings and system instantiation
Like most other similar methods, TIMe distinguishes between Analysis, Design, Implementation and Instantiation (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: TIMe activities, descriptions and languages
The distinction between Domain and System Design is not particular for TIMe. What is special, however, is that:
How to learn TIMe
There are several ways to learn The Integrated Method:
These ways complement each other and are systematically linked.
Figure 2: Methodology overview


The main themes of TIMe are:
Read the Introduction to the Book to learn how to use the media, or TIMe at a glance for a first impression of the Methodology.

TIMe Electronic Book

It is our experience that a methodology book is used in several ways that are somewhat conflicting:
Using an electronic medium using hyperlinks we hope that all these needs may be satisfied.
Read the theme Introduction to the Book to learn more about how to use the material on-line, and how to print any or all parts of the book.

The SISU project

TIMe was initially conceived in the SISU project, which was a Norwegian technology transfer program aiming to improve the productivity and the quality of Norwegian companies that develop systems within the real-time domain.
The project started in 1988 and ended in 1996, and involved some 20 Partners from industry (including Alcatel, Ericsson and Siemens) and research institutes, including the Norwegian Computing Center (that natured Simula in the `70's) and SINTEF.
The project has contributed to higher profitability in the participating companies by increasing the their capability to achieve:
To achieve these goals the project focused on:

Object oriented SDL (SDL-92)

The project has been active in the development of the object oriented extensions to SDL that became part of the language in the 1992 version of Z.100 (popularly called SDL-92) [102]. It also contributed to the Methodology Guidelines for SDL (appendix I to Z.100) [104].


The project participated in the MSC development within ITU, including the structural concepts that became part the 1996 version of MSC (popularly called MSC-96) [110].


SISU developed a forerunner of TIMe, the SISU methodology, which is described in the textbook by Rolv Bræk and Øystein Haugen: Engineering Real Time Systems. An Object-Oriented Methodology using SDL [24]. Presently, some 600 engineers have been through a training course based on this book, and some 15-20 Norwegian companies use the SISU methodology actively in their product development. Most of them have tool support for SDL with code generation.

Web site

For more information about the results of the project, and to download public reports, visit the SISU web site at


The following companies and research institutes have been active participants of the SISU project (SISU-I and SISU-II):
  • Alcatel Telecom Norway,
  • Autronica
  • CAP Gemini (Computas),
  • Ericsson Private Networks, Norway,
  • Ericsson Radar, Norway,
  • Ericsson Semafor, Norway,
  • Kjell G. Knutsen,
  • NFT-Ericsson,
  • Norapp,
  • Norsonic,
  • Scanpower,
  • Seatex Garex (Garex)
  • Seem Audio,
  • Siemens (Norway),
  • Stentofon,
  • Trioving,
  • Tandberg Data Storage,
  • Telox,
  • Norwegian Computer Center (NR).
  • The Authors

    The persons listed below have directly contributed to this book:
    In addition a large number of people have commented on its contents, and helped clarify our ideas. These are colleagues of ours, participants of The SISU project, and international professionals. We thank you all!
    We particularly wish to thank the people at Ericsson who have helped pilot the methodology, that worked on the HTML version, and that provided valuable feedback: Tim Papas, Steinar Lundeberg, Stein Erik Ellevseth, Pål Berg and many others.
    On this version, Therese Nilsen and Per Holager of SINTEF Telecom and Informatics have helped compile the final version for publication.
    Rolv Bræk; SINTEF Telecom and Informatics
    Rolv graduated from the University of Trondheim, Department of Electrical Engineering in 1969 and has been working with SINTEF since 1973, where he is Principal Research Scientist. He is also Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim (NTNU).
    Rolv has been working with software engineering methodology since the early 70's in close cooperation with Norwegian industry. One of the most reputed projects was the MAREIK project in the INMARSAT system 1979-81.
    Rolv has been working with formal description techniques for decades, and fathered the SOM1 language and methodology, a parallel development to SDL.
    Rolv participated in The SISU project, with responsibility for Methodology. He is currently occupied with introducing TIMe to Ericsson, and is also contributing to the Z.109 standard for SDL with UML.

    Rolv is co-author of Engineering Real Time Systems - An object-oriented methodology using SDL [24].

    Joe Gorman; SINTEF Telecom and Informatics

    Joe studied Computer Science at the University of Glasgow, where he gained his Honours Degree in 1977. After working in Scottish Universities, he started work at SINTEF in 1986.

    Joe is involved with contract research work with Norwegian industry, and in international co-operative research funded by the European Commission. His main research interests are software engineering, software development methodologies, compiler techniques and configuration management.

    In The SISU project Joe was responsible for Configuration Management.

    Øystein Haugen; Ericsson Norway

    Øystein graduated from the University of Oslo in 1980, where he was assistant to Kristen Nygård for a period.

    Øystein worked at the Norwegian Computing Center for 4 years as project leader for a Simula machine. From 1984-88 he worked at SimTech, and from 1988-1990 as senior research scientist at ABB Corporate Research, Norway. Øystein was an independent consultant while working on his Ph.D., until he joined Ericsson Norway in 1997 to work on software methods and languages. Øystein is Associate Professor at the University of Oslo.

    Øystein participates in the standardization work in ITU, first in the development of the object-oriented extension of SDL that where incorporated in the 1992 version of SDL ("SDL-92") [102], and later as Associate Rapporteur for MSC in ITU-T Study Group 10, that produced the 1996 version of Message Sequence Charts [110]. He is currently Rapporteur for MSC in ITU-T, responsible for the development of MSC standard year 2000.

    Øystein is co-author of Engineering Real Time Systems - An object-oriented methodology using SDL [24]. In The SISU project Øystein had responsibility for Verification and Validation activities.

    Birger Møller-Pedersen; Ericsson Norway

    Birger graduated from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark in 1976.

    Birger worked at the Norwegian Computing Center from 1977 to 1996, where he specialized in object oriented languages, including designing and implementing compilers for Simula, designing Beta, and later adding object orientation to SDL.

    Birger joined Telenor Research and Development (the Norwegian PTT) in 1996, where he amongst other things worked on Java in TMN.

    In 1998 Birger joined Øystein and Geir at Ericsson NorARC, where he has continued his work with TIMe and SDL. Birger is also Associate Professor at the University of Oslo.

    Birger participates in the standardization work in ITU, first as Associate Rapporteur in the development of the object-oriented extension of SDL that were incorporated in the 1992 version of SDL ("SDL-92") [102]. He is currently participating in the ITU-T Study Group 10, working on the next version of the SDL standard scheduled for the year 2000. Birger is Associate Rapporteur for the harmonization of SDL and UML, in the coming Z.109 standard.

    Birger is co-author of The BETA Programming Language [123] and Systems Engineering Using SDL-92 [144].

    Geir Melby, Ericsson Norway

    Geir worked at Telox until 1988, where he acted as manager and consultant. Geir participated in the development of embedded software systems for industrial companies and in Telox' own products, that included a run-time support system for SDL (Telox SDL Tools).

    Geir left Telox to lead The SISU project from 1988 to 1996.

    Geir joined Ericsson Norway in 1996, where he is manager of the Software Engineering Laboratory of the Norwegian Applied Research Department (Ericsson NorARC).

    Richard Sanders; SINTEF Telecom and Informatics

    Richard graduated from the University of Trondheim, Institute of Informatics in 1984, Mastering in Computer Science and Telematics.

    He worked for 3 years as a consultant with Computas (now a part of CAP Gemini), developing embedded software for communication systems using SDL/SOM, and working on a CASE tool for SDL (DASOM).

    Richard worked at Stentofon (now Stento) from 1987 to 1994 as designer and later software manager, developing a new generation communication exchange, where automatic code generation from SDL was introduced in 1988, to our knowledge the first industrial project to do so. Stentofon where participants of The SISU project from the start.

    Richard joined SINTEF in 1994, where he has been working with development methodology (in The SISU project and in Mechatronics), and as a UML/MSC/SDL designer in industry projects. He is currently occupied with introducing TIMe to Ericsson Norway. Richard also lectures at the University of Science and Technology in Trondheim (NTNU).

    Tor Stålhane; SINTEF Telecom and Informatics

    Tor graduated from the University of Trondheim, Department of Electrical Engineering in 1969. He holds a Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Trondheim, Department of Mathematical Sciences from 1988.

    Tor has worked at SINTEF since 1969, specializing in Software Reliability and Process Improvement. Since 1997 he is also a professor at the Stavanger Polytechnic, where he teaches quality assurance and process improvement in software development.

    In The SISU project Tor was responsible for Software Metrics.

    About TIMe

    Copyright SINTEF 1997, 1998, 1999
    All rights reserved.
    No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanic, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission, in writing, from SINTEF.
    For information about commercial terms or for comments on TIMe, please contact:
    SINTEF Telecom and Informatics

    N-7465 Trondheim

    Tel: +47 73 59 30 00
    Fax: +47 73 53 25 86

    FrameMaker, FrameReader and Acrobat are copyright Adobe Systems Incorporated. The UML logo, OMG, CORBA and IDL are trademarks of the Object Management Group, Inc.

    Excerpts from the SDL [102], [108]and MSC [110]standards are reproduced after prior authorization by the copyright holder ITU. The choice of excerpts is entirely our own and, therefore, does not affect the responsibility of ITU in any way.

    Full text of the ITU standards ( [102] through [110]) can be obtained from the ITU Sales Section, Place des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland (see or Tel. +41 22 730 51 11, Fax +41 22 731 51 94, or email

    About this version

    This version 4.0 of the TIMe methodology is the second commercially available version. The major improvements compared to version 3.1 are:

    Some of the previous TIMe versions where only available to participants of The SISU project or to Ericsson.
    We have put a lot of effort into this book, but we have not reached what we consider to be a finished product. There is still a lot of material we want to add, we know that some material could be presented in a better way, and that there are loose ends that need to be tied up. There are also technical issues about the electronic medium we find unsatisfactory.
    It is our modest hope, though, that we have included material that satisfies the majority of our readers, and that the electronic textbook is found useful. We encourage comments on content, shortcomings and errors to the address above.
    Based on feedback from users and from our own experience in continued introduction in industrial contexts, we will incorporate new and better material in future versions of TIMe.
    Future plans
    Plans for the near future of the TIMe Electronic Textbook include:
    Revision table

    1. TIMe versions
    July 1999
    Second commercial version.
    July 1998
    Internal version for Ericsson.
    December 1997
    First commercial version from SINTEF.
    November 1996
    SISU L-2001-5 Final delivery from The SISU project, distributed to SISU Participants.
    March 1996
    Second version of Electronic textbook (distributed to SISU Participants).
    September 1995
    SISU L-2001-2 First version of electronic textbook. Demonstrated at SDL forum in Oslo.
    December 1994
    SISU L-1112-6 Common Method Description, version 2.
    June 1994
    SISU L-1112-5 Common Method Description, version 1.
    April 1994
    SISU L-1112-4 First Draft of Integrated Methodology (in Norwegian).
    June 1993
    ISBN 0-13-034448-6 Engineering Real Time Systems - An object-oriented methodology using SDL [24].

    About SINTEF

    SINTEF is an independent, not-for-profit research foundation based in Trondheim and Oslo, Norway. Our role is to encourage innovation and improve competitiveness in Norwegian industry and public administration. In doing so, we maintain close links with the technical Universities in Trondheim and Oslo, collaborating on projects, and sharing equipment and other resources.
    SINTEF is not a publicly funded organisation. A very small part (less than 4%) of our income is from a public grant; most of our operating revenues arise from contract research and development work carried out for industry and the public sector in Norway and elsewhere.
    With over 1800 employees and a turnover of NOK 1.4 billion, SINTEF is Scandinavia's largest independent research organisation. It is organised into eight separate research institutes, covering all major scientific areas and industrial sectors.
    SINTEF Telecom and Informatics is an institute in SINTEF. Our R&D work focuses on information and communications technologies - covering basic technologies as well as applications of these. We have departments specialising in computer science, systems engineering & telematics, distributed systems, radio & signal processing, and acoustics.
    Refer to our website for further information.
    1.SOM initially stood for Structure-Oriented Modeling, and was later changed to SDL-Oriented Methodology. SOM is no longer supported by SINTEF, but TIMe contains many of the basic principles of SOM.