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Volume 14 / Issue 8

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-014-08-1256


LIFT - A Legacy InFormation Retrieval Tool

Kellyton dos Santos Brito (Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil)

Vinícius Cardoso Garcia (Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil)

Eduardo Santana de Almeida (Recife Center for Advanced Studies and Systems, Brazil)

Silvio Romero de Lemos Meira (Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil)

Abstract: Nowadays software systems are essential to the environment of most organizations, and their maintenance is a key point to support business dynamics. Thus, reverse engineering legacy systems for knowledge reuse has become a major concern in software industry. This article, based on a survey about reverse engineering tools, discusses a set of functional and non-functional requirements for an effective tool for reverse engineering, and observes that current tools only partly support these requirements. In addition, we define new requirements, based on our group’s experience and industry feedback, and present the architecture and implementation of LIFT: a Legacy InFormation retrieval Tool, developed based on these demands. Furthermore, we discuss the compliance of LIFT with the defined requirements. Finally, we applied the LIFT in a reverse engineering project of a 210KLOC NATURAL/ADABAS system of a financial institution and analyzed its effectiveness and scalability, comparing data with previous similar projects performed by the same institution.

Keywords: knowledge reuse, legacy systems, reverse engineering, system understanding

Categories: D.2.1, D.2.13, D.2.7, K.6.3