Databorough Unveils ‘Lite’ Version of Application Analysis Tool
December 8, 2009 Alex Woodie
Databorough last week unveiled a stripped down “Lite” version of X-Analysis, its cross-referencing and documentation tool for IBM i OS applications. The vendor says X-Analysis Lite, while lacking some enterprise features, should nonetheless provide a good starting point for programmers and analysts to gain a better understanding of how their RPG, COBOL, and CL programs were developed and how they run on the i OS Power Systems server.
It’s been a little over a year since Databorough launched the version 8 release of X-Analysis, which was focused on application modernization. While the new Lite version of X-Analysis doesn’t provide the low-level J2EE and EGL code generation or application re-engineering capabilities that make the enterprise version of version 8 a potent power tool, it does bring a good set of features to bear for i OS professionals who need to know how their programs actually work.
X-Analysis Lite contains three modules that Databorough says can start users on their way to achieving application understanding. This includes Application Mapping, Variable Tracing Technology, and Interactive Graphical Diagramming.
The cross referencing begins with Application Mapping, which builds maps of i OS applications that can be stored and accessed from DB2/400. By cross referencing all objects, and then parsing every source member to the individual variable level, Application Mapping provides a very detailed record of how various components of an application relate with each other, according to the vendor.
The next step is to gain insights into how an application actually executes, using the Variable Tracing component. This tool uses the application map previously generated to programmatically trace how variables and fields are put into action. It is commonly used to perform impact analyses when users make modifications to applications.
With Interactive Graphical Diagramming, Databorough provides a visual representation of an application, which is very useful for helping some people to understand their applications. This module provides users with a graphical, color-coded representation of their applications and the underlying structures and processes. Users can even drill down into the source code, and navigate across diagrams that represent the applications. Databorough says it’s sometimes referred to as “GPS for legacy applications.”
Like its bigger brother, X-Analysis Lite works as a plug-in with IBM‘s development tools, including WDSc and RDi. There is also a stand-alone version for SEU, and it may also work with MyEclipseBlue, a lower-cost alternative to IBM’s Rational tools from Genuitec that Databorough has been helping to push.
The Lite version of X-Analysis lacks some of the features that make the Enterprise version a powerful tool for full application re-engineering. This includes the Database Modernization component, which provides field re-sizing, globalization, and DBCS conversion capabilities; X-Ternalize, which converts database I/O, and X-Modernize, which generates J2EE code from application maps created with the tool.
The Lite version also lacks the hefty price tag of X-Analysis Enterprise, which Databorough once said carries a starting price tag of $50,000 for a P05 box. Exact pricing was not provided by Databorough, but you can bet it’s substantially less than that. For more information or trial downloads, check out the company’s Web site at www.databorough.com.