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Data reverse engineering (DRE) is a relatively new approach used to address a general category of data disintegration problems. DRE combines structured data analysis techniques with rigorous data management practices. The approach is growing in popularity as an integrative systems re-engineering method because of its ability to address multiple problem types concurrently. This paper describes a general DRE template both as an activity model and as a data model to be populated with reverse engineered data. Scenarios show how DRE has been used to (1) harness data assets to address organizational data integration problems, (2) develop organizational data migration strategies, (3) specify distributed systems architectures, and (4) implement and propagate organizational CASE-tool usage to address system maintenance problems. Selectively applied DRE can be an important first step toward eventual organization-wide data integration.
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