Critical evaluation of reverse engineering tool Imagix 4D!
SpringerPlus, December 2016
Rashmi Yadav, Ravindra Patel, Abhay Kothari
The comprehension of legacy codes is difficult to understand. Various commercial reengineering tools are available that have unique working styles, and are equipped with their inherent capabilities and shortcomings. The focus of the available tools is in visualizing static behavior not the dynamic one. Therefore, it is difficult for people who work in software product maintenance, code understanding reengineering/reverse engineering. Consequently, the need for a comprehensive reengineering/reverse engineering tool arises. We found the usage of Imagix 4D to be good as it generates the maximum pictorial representations in the form of flow charts, flow graphs, class diagrams, metrics and, to a partial extent, dynamic visualizations. We evaluated Imagix 4D with the help of a case study involving a few samples of source code. The behavior of the tool was analyzed on multiple small codes and a large code gcc C parser. Large code evaluation was performed to uncover dead code, unstructured code, and the effect of not including required files at preprocessing level. The utility of Imagix 4D to prepare decision density and complexity metrics for a large code was found to be useful in getting to know how much reengineering is required. At the outset, Imagix 4D offered limitations in dynamic visualizations, flow chart separation (large code) and parsing loops. The outcome of evaluation will eventually help in upgrading Imagix 4D and posed a need of full featured tools in the area of software reengineering/reverse engineering. It will also help the research community, especially those who are interested in the realm of software reengineering tool building.
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