REVIEWER: Irina Yakovleva, senior technical analyst for Limelight Technologies.
BACKGROUND: Limelight Technologies is an IT integrator and custom software applications developer. The contract with the State of Wyoming Department of Employment was to provide a complete business and technical analysis for the purpose of mapping every business process through to code-level detail within the client's legacy COBOL mainframe systems. This effort supported the justification for a proposed systems modernization approach.
PLATFORM: Windows XP Professional servers.
PROBLEM SOLVED: The State of Wyoming's Department of Employment has CICS and batch mainframe systems running two major applications (unemployment insurance and tax insurance) that were originally developed in the 1980s. The department wanted to reduce maintenance costs and modernize these legacy systems to take advantage of more advanced technologies. Meanwhile, its professional COBOL resources were getting scarcer, with very few professionals on staff who understood the system. The department was concerned that undergoing an automated migration without fully understanding the current system would create spaghetti code; meanwhile, it believed that new development was too expensive and risky. Thus, it sought to understand the system before moving forward with modernization. It then contracted with Limelight Technologies to do a business and technical analysis of its system processes as part of the modernization project.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: BluePhoenix Logic-Miner enables us to understand, analyze and recover programming logic as a vital part of a modernization project. We used the screen images (maps), the packages from the Program Interaction Diagram for different programs and the structure of the records for files (from copybooks) in our documents that contained business and programming logic. Using it, we have been able to quickly understand the common logic for each process, get other necessary programming details of any level and modify existing legacy systems in a modern, workstation-based environment. With LogicMiner, we also can produce and analyze different useful reports, such as complexity analysis, resource inventory and resource usage. We can customize these reports and deliver output in XML for sharing with other applications.
STRENGTHS: Any programmer can quickly learn the system. The LogicMiner Workbench is built using Eclipse. It is both open and easy to use. The workbench provides numerous views and perspectives into the overall structure of COBOL applications and how they interact with TP monitors, batch JCL, etc. Another strength is that in addition to viewing information as hierarchies, LogicMiner supports the graphical display of the same information. Diagrams can be tailored to display as much or as little information as is desired.
WEAKNESSES: When we first began using LogicMiner, it didn't support a table lookup that was being used. We also needed to add analysis of menu options that users entered from the menu screen. We brought this to the attention of BluePhoenix Solutions, and they subsequently added that functionality into the product.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We reviewed two other products. One could not work with CICS commands (it could only handle COBOL source code), and the second was both more expensive and complicated to install.
DELIVERABLES: The code analyzer converts application elements into open, schema-based XML representations. Some of these include: 1) images of the diagrams that show the relationship between programs, screens and files - you can create the diagram for the separate program or for the group of them; 2) images of all screens with full information on what programs use them and how; 3) the list of all files (separate search window) used in the system with full information on what programs use them and how; 4) different kinds of search that allow you to track and get the full usage of any file, program and any field in the program or file; 5) a wide set of various useful reports such as usage of resources, dead code reporting, relationships between called and calling programs; and 6) a full set of program source codes and copybooks that are easy to use.
VENDOR SUPPORT: BluePhoenix Solutions' staff has an excellent knowledge of the product and communicated it to us.
DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is thorough and easy to understand.
8000 Regency Parkway, Suite 300
Cary, NC 27518
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