Supporting Reengineering Scenarios with FETCH: an Experience Report

Bart Du Bois, Bart Van Rompaey, Karel Meijfroidt, Eric Suijs


The exploration and analysis of large software systems is a labor-intensive activity in need of tool support. In recent years, a number of tools have been developed that provide key functionality for standard reverse engineering scenarios, such as (i) metric analysis; (ii) anti-pattern detection; (iii) dependency analysis; and (iv) visualization. However, either these tools support merely a subset of this list of scenarios, they are not made available to the research community for comparison or extension, or they impose strict restrictions on the source code. Accordingly, we observe a need for an extensible and robust open source alternative, which we present in this paper. Our main contributions are (i) a clarification of useful reverse engineering scenarios; (ii) a comparison among existing solutions; and (iii) an experience report on four recent cases illustrating the usefulness of tool support for these scenarios in an industrial setting.

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