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A new generation of distributed real-time systems (DRTS) is based on heterogeneous models of computation and communication and is associated with flexible real-time constraints. Classical design flows based on realtime scheduling theory display important limitations related to the restrictive assumption on the system model. On the other hand, formal verification of timed automata is far more general, but it suffers a different limitation: it does not provide any guide on how to choose the design parameters, nor does it permit to gauge the robustness of the design against unknown parameters. In this paper, we advocate the use of formal verification of parametric timed automata as a means to combine the best of the two approaches. The feasibility of the idea is shown on a significant industrial case study.