SOFTWARE TOOLS: Analysis tool eases reuse of legacy code - Embedded.com

SOFTWARE TOOLS: Analysis tool eases reuse of legacy code

LONDON — Rapid Quality Systems Ltd., a spin out from the Space Technology Centre at the University of Dundee in Scotland last September has released its first product. Code Rocket is aimed at making it easier to develop and analyze complex computing code.

Code Rocket reveals the inner workings of C#, Java and C/C++ code, interactively exploring the structure of legacy programs and allowing developers to visualize the underlying algorithms and find the meaning behind the code.

It is available now for Visual Studio .NET and works with 2005, 2008 and 2010 versions. The company is also working on Code Rocket for Eclipse.

Allowing developers to unravel inherited code, or improve algorithms they are currently developing, Code Rocket slices through obscure code, easing documentation which is automatic within a continuous integration system – without any instrumentation of the code.

Code Rocket provides interactive visualisations of code as it is being developed, and developers can work in any view, text, diagram or psuedocode; with each view synchronized in real time, freeing developers from working within the confines of a language and allowing them to develop the underlying algorithm by taking a higher level view of the work at hand. The complimentary views can then be used to aid in documentation and understanding of the system as a whole, and as a review framework for developers, managers and customers.

The company is based at the University's Business Incubator ad its chief executive is Russell Kay, a veteran of Dundee's computer games industry who has worked with Real Time Worlds and headed his own games company Visual Sciences, in the process helping developing classic games such as Grand Theft Auto and Lemmings .

“What we are working on are software development tools that can be used right across the computing industry,” said Kay. “With Code Rocket we have developed a tool that makes it much easier for people to analyse and document complex pieces of code, particularly what is known as legacy code.

“This is code that may have been in a system for some time and where the original programmer may long since have moved on. Code Rocket helpsidentify how that code works and what it does. We have developed this for the major programming languages being used across a whole host ofdisciplines, so the potential uses are widespread.”

The Space Technology Centre at the University processes large amounts of data and has had to develop some unique computing tools to cope withthe unique demands of its operations.

“The Centre is a great example of an operation which has a lot of code to maintain, a lot of it generated over many years of itsactivities, and Code Rocket is ideal for maintaining and documenting all of that,” added Kay.

A free 30 day trial of Code Rocket can be downloaded from www.rapidqualitysystems.com

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