Chapter 1: Introduction to Revolve

Welcome to Revolve, the most productive tool for analyzing and maintaining your legacy applications. Revolve reduces the cost and complexity of tasks ranging from everyday bug fixes to large-scale system refurbishment, by providing programmers with powerful inventory analysis features and comprehensive source exploration tools.

Overview of Revolve

Revolve analyzes your legacy application to discover its structure; the files it uses; how and where data items are used; and many other details. It stores the results of this analysis in a database, which you can interrogate through many different tools to produce diagrams, reports, and so on, to help you understand the application.

It is a knowledge management environment for both developers and central analysis teams.

Developers use it to understand, document and improve enterprise applications on a daily basis. Central analysis teams use it to estimate, assess and manage inventory-wide global change programmes.

Developer Use

Revolve's capabilities are used to parse all application components and populate the database with information about all applications in your system inventory. The database is a complete representation of all the objects that constitute the complete system and the inter dependencies between all the objects within the applications in the system. Revolve’s rich set of application understanding and research capabilities perform sophisticated queries against the database to present a wide range of information about the application in seconds. It is used by programmers on a daily basis to quickly understand how to implement any application change requests, the complete scope of impact of any code or data definition changes and the actual complexity and effort involved in making the change before they start implementing the change.

Revolve empowers programmers to:

Application enhancements and fixes can, therefore, be delivered in a fraction of the time while dramatically improving quality, accelerating time to market and increasing customer satisfaction.

The power of Revolve's capabilities comes from the fact that it contains an advanced language dialect parser specific to COBOL and not just a general purpose "text browser". It does offer a general purpose text browser, to analyze components written in any language, but the analysis capabilities available are not as advanced when the database has been populated via information gained from scanning source code as text, rather than parsing the source code/ dialect. The language/ dialect parsers are key to populating the database with application characteristics and interdependencies about the application code and about all the environment subsystems accessed from the code. For example, subprograms/ subroutines, screen systems, transaction systems, databases and file systems.

The language/ dialect parsers supplied support:

and the three optional language extensions enable Revolve to work with:

Analysis Team Use

Revolve Enterprise Edition provides a sophisticated interface to a rich set of additional capabilities focused specifically at solving the problems centralized teams face when performing analysis and managing the implementation of changes inventory-wide. Such mass change programmes typically impact the majority of applications, programs and data sources within the IT system inventory and require a different analysis approach from that typically used by a programmer working on a specific isolated enhancement request.

These global IT change programmes, where Y2K remediation has in recent years been the most widely publicized, occur regularly, driven by business issues like:

Once such change programmes are scoped, budgeted and approved they will typically affect every programmer in the organization. However, before this happens, a central team is typically selected to organize the initial analysis inventory-wide, involve application experts as required, and coordinate the change programme throughout the organization.

This central team is usually expert in the global change requirement but not expert on all the individual applications. Revolve Enterprise Edition is designed specifically for such teams of central business/ application analysts and has extensive capabilities to help the team understand the effort and costs involved, coordinate detailed change analysis, manage the change programme inventory-wide and report on progress globally to executive management.

By empowering experts in the specific inventory-wide change issue with the specialized mass analysis and change programme implementation capabilities of Revolve Enterprise Edition, a small team can produce more accurate effort and cost estimates earlier in the planning process. The same team can then, with minimum input from applications experts, isolate the real points of impact rapidly, while ensuring quality by not inadvertently discarding positive points of impact. Finally, the central team can then use the sophisticated worksheet capabilities to manage the whole change programme from an application object's perspective to ensure all changes to user interfaces, code and data stores are made in a controlled fashion and that all inter-dependencies are tested at the appropriate time. The benefit to the business is earlier delivery of systems with the major new capabilities requested, with the quality required to enable faster time to market than the competition.

As Revolve Enterprise Edition is designed to enable a small team of individuals to accelerate the delivery of any inventory-wide change programme, the value is related more to the size of the inventory involved than to the number of users. For this reason, a part of the license may include a license for a Usage Counter related to the size of the inventory involved or an unlimited license. If you have a metered license, then to use all the capabilities across the whole application inventory, you need to 'meter' the inventory. You need a Usage Counter only to meter lines of code ready for processing with Revolve. If you are prompted to meter code and believe you should have an unlimited metering license, please contact your Sales Representative. A nominated individual in the central team handles the metering of the entire inventory, as this is a one-off task. Once the code for each application is metered, all the advanced capabilities are available for use by anyone who is licensed to use Revolve Enterprise Edition.

What's in Revolve?

The major parts of Revolve are:

and the major parts of Revolve Enterprise Edition are:

The Documentation

All the documentation is online. You get to it from the Windows Start menu, or from the Revolve Help menu.

Only the Getting Started book is supplied in printed form. This chapter gives an overview of Revolve, and the next chapters give brief notes on installing. The Tutorials online book contains a set of tutorials to help you get started quickly.

We assume you're familiar with COBOL, CICS and the Windows operating system you're using, but that you've never seen Revolve or any other Micro Focus software before.

You can send us comments about the documentation quickly and easily, from within the online books. To find out how, see the appendix Send Us Comments.

Copyright © 2006 Micro Focus (IP) Ltd. All rights reserved.