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Forensic Analysis of Legacy Software Systems

Business Challenge

Most modern organisations over time have built up a considerable portfolio of software systems that they require to work. When a new software system is developed they need to be built on top of these legacy systems as they are an integral part of the organisation. They represent actual company value and are too expensive to redevelop with every new software system that is planned or released.

One of the major challenges of software development using legacy software systems is that expertise, understanding and accurate and up to date information generally is not available. Systems may have been created using aging technologies, original developers may have moved to different companies and documentation detailing design and implementation is not up to date or even completely absent.

Traditional methods for reverse engineering software systems to gain an understanding of their design and implementation focus on rebuilding a class diagram structure by analysing the system source code. This leaves developers with the unenviable task of making sense of hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of classes and little to no guidance on how to interpret their intended meaning and role.

Our Solution and Expertise

SYS Consulting has developed state of the art approaches for the analysis of legacy software systems that can create a detailed break-down of the components that make up a software system and the classes that belong to these components. By considering information about the legacy system that is available in version management repositories, (partial) requirements documentation and the design and implementation of similar systems a profile is created for each class. Classes are grouped together based on their profile to form components that fulfill specific tasks within the system. These components and their roles are analysed to form an enriched description of the legacy system, such as highlighting model, view and controller aspects, middleware layers and communication APIs.

SYS Consulting has developed an advanced reverse engineering toolsuite for the analysis of legacy software systems that takes advantage of the unique expertise of our consultants. Using techniques from natural language processing, pattern recognition and data clustering this process is highly automated and by using high performance computer clusters this process can be scaled up to very large software systems.

Business Benefit

These analysis techniques have the potential to provide organisations with an in-depth analysis of their legacy software systems that goes beyond the capabilities of state of the art reverse engineering tools. Combined with the knowledge and experience of our experts organisations are provided with detailed knowledge of the current IT infrastructure, a valuable asset for all future software development.

More Detail

For further information please visit Tracebility Forensics website or contact SYS Consulting Limited at info@sys-consulting.co.uk.