Feature Location in COBOL Mainframe Systems: an Experience Report

TitleFeature Location in COBOL Mainframe Systems: an Experience Report
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsVan Geet, J, Demeyer S
Conference NameProceedings {ICSM}'09 (the 25th International Conference on Software Maintenance)
Date Publishedsep
PublisherIEEE Press

Over the last decade, numerous techniques have been proposed in the literature to reverse engineer large legacy systems, several of them even claiming success on industrial scale. Consequently, when faced with a reverse engineering request from a large banking company, we decided to reuse an existing technique (namely, feature location using formal concept analysis on execution profiles) and see whether we could replicate their results. This paper reports our experience with such a replication experiment: we list those things that worked well (and fortunately, there were quite a few) and those things that did not work so well (and try to identify root causes and solutions for the problems we encountered).