Typical COBOL applications handle a large set of operations such as Transaction Processing,
Database Access, exception and screen handling. Due to sheer size and complexity of legacy applications,
it is often difficult to separate out the Business and Non-Business related code to regenerate documentation.
Business Rule Extraction is the process of isolating the code segments which are directly related to business processes. For example, how the system calculates a "discount" or "interest" on an account.
However, in practice, the extracted rules tend to be very large. A extracting a rule from program of 5000 lines may end up with a 500 line rule. This is far too large to be useful for documentation or as a rule. For SoftwareMining the next logical step was to apply complex heuristic algorithms to reduce the size of the rules. But heuristics may remove important pieces of information from the rule. The rule would hence require to undergo a manual/visual verifications - a very expensive and error prone process.
SoftwareMining's new offering focuses on a translation of code into refactored/reengineered Business-Objects . The idea is to re-engineer code into an Object-Oriented architecture - where each object may represent a collection of rules. E.g. A "customer" object could know how to : authenticate (rule-1), calculate-balance (rule-2) and etc. The migrated code will be runnable and will produce identical functionality to the original system. Even if during the translation a rule is misplaced into an incorrect class/package (e.g. if calculate-balance rule had become part of the "Order" instead of "Customer" class), the new system will continue to function flawlessly
Once testing phase has been completed, Java/C# developers can simply move the rules between different object classes.
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