Optical Solutions


Embarcadero Technologies, Inc.
425 Market Street, Suite 425
San Francisco, CA 94105

Tools Used: 

Embarcadero’s Describe.


Optical Solutions designs, manufactures, and markets the only true Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) Passive Optical Network (PON), for voice, video and data to Service Providers worldwide.


Software in Optical Solutions' products is embedded, and because it operates behind-the-scenes, customers expect it to work hassle-free. Technical Staff Member Dan Oelke and his colleagues at Optical Solutions therefore had to quickly develop flawless, easy-to-maintain software, and knew that using a UML tool would help them achieve that. "UML gives us a common design language that all our developers can use," Oelke explained. "Like many organizations, we add engineers at a fast pace, and therefore, need to bring them up to speed so they can be productive as soon as possible. The ability to generate code, especially with our enhancements, has allowed the engineers who are not OO wizards to learn more quickly." Optical Solutions also recognized a huge opportunity in adopting UML. The embedded software industry has been slower in accepting of OO, primarily because of the potential additional costs to the end product that extra software could entail. "We definitely wanted to capitalize on that resistance, and gain an advantage over our competition. We knew UML could really help us get our products to market faster, and help us win the time-to-market game," Oelke said.


Oelke considered several other UML tools before selecting Describe. The ability to modify Perl scripts for code and report generation was a key requirement for him. Keeping the code clean was also important. Oelke knew it would save the developers significant time if they could all work together and reference one another's work. The multi-user collaborative environment of Describe allows them to do so, and the developers now rely heavily on it. When Optical Solutions first began using Describe, only a few developers incorporated it into their development efforts. Now, more than 20 developers use Describe daily. "Team support is, for us, the single best feature of Describe. It allows us to work well together - a huge timesaver. We absolutely love it," Oelke said. Oelke has also been very pleased with Embarcadero Technical Support, and enjoys the one-on-one, customer focus on which the company prides itself. "Whenever I email in or call in, I get someone who knows and understands my application. I don't have to re-explain myself, which can be a waste of time, and very frustrating." Optical Solutions has made a name for itself as the only company with a complete fiber-delivered voice, video and data solution that's proven and operating in the field, and Oelke and his team will continue to use Describe as the company grows and develops new products. "Describe is such an integral part of our development efforts now that I can't imagine developing software without it," he concluded. Return to Success Story list.