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Implications of Distributed Object Technology for Reengineering

June 1997 Technical Report
Nelson W. Weiderman, Linda M. Northrop, Dennis B. Smith, Scott R. Tilley (Florida Institute of Technoloy), Kurt C. Wallnau

This 1997 report provides definitions of various software evolution concepts and a taxonomy of activities.

Publisher:

Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number

CMU/SEI-97-TR-005

Abstract

Distributed object technology is profoundly changing the ways in which software systems evolve over time. To a large extent, the focus of reengineering has been to understand legacy systems and to extract their essential functionality so that they can be rewritten as more robust and more maintainable systems over the long term. However, object technology, wrapping strategies, and the Web may be changing the focus and economics of reengineering. The question posed by this paper is the extent to which reengineering strategies ought to continue to use program understanding technology. The cost/benefit ratio of certain forms of program understanding appears to be staying roughly the same over time, while the cost/benefit ratio of wrapping legacy systems or their subsystems is dropping rapidly. As a result, new reengineering strategies that place less emphasis on deep program understanding, and more emphasis on distributed object technologies, should now be considered.