Continuing with our reverse engineering research line, today we present our work on the extraction of business rules from COBOL systems done by Valerio as part of his thesis work sponsored by IBM. A summary of the work is the following:
Organizations rely on the logic embedded in their information systems for their daily operations. This logic implements the business rules in place in the organization, which must be continuously adapted in response to market changes. Unfortunately, this evolution implies understanding and evolving also the underlying software components enforcing those rules.
This is challenging because, first, the code implementing the rules is scattered throughout the whole system and, second, most of the time documentation is poor and out-of-date. This is specially true for older systems that have been maintained and evolved for several years (even decades). In those systems, it is not even clear which business rules are enforced nor whether rules are still consistent with the current organizational policies.
In this sense, the goal of this work is to facilitate the comprehension of legacy systems (in particular COBOL-based
ones) by providing a model driven reverse engineering framework able to extract and visualize the business logic embedded in them
As usual, you can find below the slides. The full paper can be downloaded here.