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The widespread use of embedded systems mandates the development of industrial software design methods, i.e. computer-aided design and engineering of embedded applications using formal models (frameworks) and repositories of prefabricated components, much in the same way as in other mature areas of engineering such as mechanical engineering and electronics. These guidelines have been used to develop the COMDES framework and the associated software design method, which are presented in the paper. The framework has been used to systematically define a hierarchy of generic executable components, which can be used as standard building blocks for a broad variety of embedded applications.