An Open Architecture for Visual Reverse Engineering

An Open Architecture for Visual Reverse Engineering

Alexandru C. Telea (Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands)
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-366-1.ch009


Tool support for program understanding becomes increasingly important in the software evolution cycle, and it has become an integral part of managing systems evolution and maintenance. Using interactive visual tools for getting insight into large evolving legacy information systems has gained popularity. Although several such tools exist, few of them have the flexibility and retargetability needed for easy deployment outside the contexts they were initially built for. The lack of flexibility and limitations for customizability is a management as well as a technical problem in software evolution and maintenance. This chapter discusses the requirements of an open architecture for software visualization tools, implementation details of such an architecture, and examples using some specific software system analysis cases. The focus is primarily on reverse engineering, although the proposed tool architecture is equally applicable to forward engineering activities. This material serves the software architects and system managers as well as the tool designers.

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