CCITT (now ITU-T) Specification and Description Language (SDL) and systems engineering (formal and informal) in SDL are considered in this publication. The latest version of the language, SDL-92 [ITU Z.100 SDL-92] is introduced.
The book has been written for existing and potential users of SDL - technologists involved in the specification and engineering of systems. It offers easier learning, through examples and application, than the Z.100 Recommendation of March 1993, which gives precise technical definitions and concepts. The book has sufficient coverage of the language so that for normal use it should not be necessary to consult Z.100. For this reason, the grammars, both textual and graphical, are included, and the index makes it possible to find text on most of the language mechanisms.
Chapter 1 provides an overview of specification and design of telecommunication systems. It considers the usage and scope of SDL. Chapter 2 gives an overview of the language, with an introduction of the major language elements. Chapter 3 focuses on the specification of behaviour and the information interchange between processes. Chapter 4 covers the structuring of systems in terms of instances, how these may be defined by types and how types may be organised in type/subtype hierarchies by inheritance. Parameterised types and packages of type definitions are also covered. Chapter 5 presents the part of the language that provides data types, with emphasis placed on how to use predefined data types. Chapter 6 presents the use of SDL for system engineering, with a discussion of general systems engineering principles followed by an introduction to methodologies which use SDL. The use of other languages in combination with SDL, documentation issues, naming and other lexical rules, errors and language support are considered, since they are more relevant to the use of language in engineering than when initially learning the language.