The objective of the CARES project is to establish the degree to which Reverse and Reengineering Technology can assist in improving the maintenance process for large systems written in Assembly language, such as the CIBERII, the Cargo Management System of IBERIA. The maintenance of such systems poses serious problems, due to both system size and age, as well as the relative lack of programmers familiars with Assembly language and maintenance tools. This project will enable IBERIA to make changes in an efficient way through the use of tools, that will be adapted from existing technology.
To achieve this general objective, the project plans to adapt results from the REDO and RECYCLE Esprit projects to enable the processing of assembly language. The main parts of the toolset are:
- A repository from the REDO project storing abstract representations of the program instructions and data, which has already been generalised to handle several common languages (C, COBOL, FORTRAN) and will be further adapted.
- A parser analysing assembly code, and translating it into an abstract syntax tree, will be developed to fill the repository with application data.
- Existing browsing and diagram tools which will be adapted, to produce hypertextual results from the Repository.
- Complementary tools to facilitate modification task and perform some source analysis.
The project will adopt a reliable and adaptable technology, portable to different platforms, such as PC and Unix..
Both tools and techniques will be validated changing the format of a small number of data fields defined in a database description which are accessed by offset in input, output and data processing operations. These fields are used in 60% of the 3,000 programs making the system. Changes to these fields are propagated to many programs, creating a substantial ripple effect. It has been estimated that changing two of these fields would cost more than 50 person months. In the medium and long terms, the tools and techniques will enable further similar modifications of the application with increased productivity. Probably, they will support extensive restructuring and re-engineering of the application to adapt it to new technologies.
To satisfy these goals the CARES partnership is composed of:
- A user with specific needs in this field: IBERIA. This company uses a Cargo system based on FAST of ALITALIA. This package was developed with assembly language and the company is currently facing IATA's field modification. Test and evaluation will be performed by this partner.
- A technological partner involved in other European projects and capable of providing appropriate leading edge technology: Limerick University. This partner had an important role in REDO project; its experience and knowledge are very valuable to satisfy all the objectives.
- A technological partner with strong experience in airline and similar company systems, competent to develop or adapt all the proposed tools: ERITEL.
CARES addresses problems common to many companies, including the "Year 2000" issue. The redeployment will be addressed to:
- European world airlines where most of companies suffer from the problem and the need to meet IATA requirements.
- Industrial companies with a major legacy application base.
- Software Engineering community.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts