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Revised ISO/IEC Standard on Ada Programming Language Boosts Computer Security for High-Risk Industries

New York  March 12, 2013


Originally published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) / International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Joint Technical Committee (JTC) 1, Information technology, subcommittee (SC) 22, Programming languages, their environments and system software interfaces, recently issued ISO/IEC 8652:2012, Information technology - Programming languages – Ada, a revised third edition of the document.

The new version includes the addition of contract-based programming, a rare computer programming feature that significantly bolsters protection against viruses and other digital threats. The Ada programming language is widely used in the aviation, railway, satellite, financial services, and healthcare sectors, as well as by the U.S. military. Organizations in these sectors require security and dependability from their digital networks, something that is assisted by the revised standard.

The Ada programming language is named after Ada Lovelace, the daughter of the poet Byron, who is often described as the first computer programmer. Ada was originally developed at the request of the U.S. Department of Defense as part of an effort to improve the reliability and efficiency of computer programming, and to allow for the consolidation of programming languages used in the military. It was first published as an ISO standard in 1987.


Created in 1987, JTC 1 works to address the standardization needs of the global ICT industry, speeding the developmental process and the wide deployment of relevant standards. The U.S. plays a leading role in JTC 1, with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) holding the secretariat and Karen Higginbottom, director of standards initiatives at Hewlett-Packard, serving as JTC 1’s chair. ANSI also holds the secretariat of SC 22, which is chaired by Rex Jaeschke of the U.S.

The ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator to JTC 1 and SC 22 is the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer (ASD).


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