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Investigating reverse engineering technologies for the CAS program understanding project

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15 Author(s)
E. Buss ; IBM Software Solutions Division, Toronto Laboratory, IBM Canada Ltd., 895 Don Mills Road, North York, Ontario M3C 1W3, Canada ; R. De Mori ; W. M. Gentleman ; J. Henshaw
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Corporations face mounting maintenance and re-engineering costs for large legacy systems. Evolving over several years, these systems embody substantial corporate knowledge, including requirements, design decisions, and business rules. Such knowledge is difficult to recover after many years of operation, evolution, and personnel change. To address the problem of program understanding, software engineers are spending an ever-growing amount of effort on reverse engineering technologies. This paper describes the scope and results of an ongoing research project on program understanding undertaken by the IBM Toronto Software Solutions Laboratory Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS). The project involves a team from CAS and five research groups working cooperatively on complementary reverse engineering approaches. All the groups are using the source code of SQL/DS™ (a multimillion-line relational database system) as the reference legacy system. Also discussed is an approach adopted to integrate the various tools under a single reverse engineering environment.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Systems Journal  (Volume:33 ,  Issue: 3 )