real-time application (RTA)

A real-time application (RTA) is an application program that functions within a time frame that the user senses as immediate or current. The latency must be less than a defined value, usually measured in seconds. Whether or not a given application qualifies as an RTA depends on the worst-case execution time (WCET), the maximum length of time a defined task or set of tasks requires on a given hardware platform. The use of RTAs is called real-time computing (RTC).

Examples of RTAs include:

  • Videoconference applications
  • VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol)
  • Online gaming
  • Community storage solutions
  • Some e-commerce transactions
  • Chatting
  • IM (instant messaging)

Software developers employ MDD (model-driven development) to obtain optimum RTA performance using UML (Unified Modeling Language). MDD allows people to work together on a project even if their experience levels vary. UML is a standard notation for the modeling of real-world objects in object-oriented design.

This was last updated in April 2008

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