The development of software for electronic control systems is becoming increasingly widespread, either within one company or spread over several companies. Iterative and highly dynamic software development cycles between car makers and their suppliers cause an increasing amount of change requests, problem reports, and require a decreasing amount of time for solutions to be found. All parties involved have to concentrate on the actual issue content and not waste time on administrative tasks. Without automation the percentage of administrative work can easily amount to 50% of the total work needed to resolve an issue. This situation represents an increasing challenge for the automotive industry.
There is, furthermore, a clear motivation to go for a standardized cross-industry solution. Bilateral approaches between OEMs and system suppliers decrease productivity, as system suppliers would typically have to maintain several OEM-specific solutions in parallel. Previous to the ASAM-based solution, Email, fax and shared drives were the main channels for issue related information exchange. This had many disadvantages, as typically data consistency and progress tracking could not be ensured along the lifecycle of an issue request.
The ASAM ISSUE standard was created to overcome the problems of different exchange systems, information inconsistency and lack of progress tracking. The ISSUE schema is able to transport relevant information for an issue (e.g. identifier, title, responsible, lifecycle status, short textual description, delivery information, issue context, attachments) and is able to act as a tool-independent format for the exchange of change requests and problem reports between companies and their tools.
The schema of the ASAM ISSUE standard is flexible enough for process adaptations, but is still strict enough to allow content checks. In order to benefit from the ISSUE standard, it is necessary to export / import issues to the company-defined configuration & change management system. Some systems on the market provide such an ISSUE interface. The status of an issue remains fully transparent for all involved parties, as the complete lifecycle of an issue is supported and status changes are propagated.