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
- 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.