Artificial intelligence (AI) is a quest for computers to equal or exceed human performance on complex intellectual tasks. An example of success in AI research is chess programs capable of routinely defeating grandmasters; conversely, efforts for automated human language understanding have been less successful. Programming languages, unlike human languages, are a perfect target for automated comprehension and translation. In fact, there has been great success in computers understanding and translating the grammar and syntax of the legacy software languages from the last century.
The US Air Force’s Knowledge Based Software Assistant (KBSA) program began AI research in the early 1980s. This program became a technology incubator for applying AI technologies. In 1988, the KBSA program commenced transferring these technologies to industry. Boeing, Lockheed and Anderson Consulting were among those developing AI derivative technologies for industry.
Established in 1995, The Software Revolution, Inc. (TSRI) leveraged nearly 32 years of continuous AI research and development to language theory, formal methods and software engineering. As one might expect from its roots in AI, TSRI’s robust software re-engineering toolset, JANUS Studio, continues adding to its repository of knowledge. This Washington State-based company can now provide legacy IT system modernization services at near 100 percent levels of automation. A far cry from the automated efforts of the 1990s, TSRI’s customers currently benefit from high levels of automation with improved code quality, custom design metrics, economy of scale and schedule compression.
TSRI is a Platform Member of the Object Management Group (OMG) and leading contributor to the Architecture Driven Modernization Task Force (ADM TF). Indeed, the company’s services and JANUS Studio adhere to, and in some cases have helped define, these standards. The following list of brief case studies represents five recent TSRI IT modernization projects.
European Air Traffic Management System (EATMS), Thales Air Systems: This real-time system manages over 10 million passenger flights annually. Thales engaged TSRI to transform EATMS’ 1.7 million lines of legacy Ada into Java. The result was a perfect functional replica of EATMS in its new language. TSRI’s 100 percent automation eliminated the risk of errors inherent in a manual rewrite. EATMS will commence operation in significant airports across Europe and Asia at the end of 2011.
Patriot Missile, Fire Platoon Simulation & Battalion Simulation Support Systems, Raytheon: TSRI’s JANUS Studio modernized four different Patriot systems including Patriot Japan. These modernizations included the transformation of nearly 200,000 source lines of Fortran code to C++, re-factoring and documentation.
Major Healthcare Insurance Company: This system consisted of 187,000 source lines of PowerBuilder and 50,000 lines of COBOL. In modernizing this system TSRI provided transformation, re-factoring, and supported system integration. This project was completed in 15 months.
Major US Bank: This legacy application contained over 3.2 million source lines of FORTRAN and 164,729 lines of DCL. TSRI generated a Transformation Blueprint to assist in the systems design architecture, performed the code documentation and provided engineering support.
Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS), US Army, Stanley and Associates (Now CGI): The legacy AFATDS consisted of over 5.1 million source lines of legacy ADA-83. TSRI employed JANUS Studio to transform this system into Java in only 10 months. On August 31, 2010, TSRI delivered the modern system to Stanley.
Every information system modernization project presents a unique set of challenges and lessons learned. Many of these are captured in the recently published book by William Ulrich and Philip Newcomb, Information System Transformation: Architecture Driven Modernization Case Studies, Morgan-Kauffman, 2010. This book contains in-depth case studies of several TSRI modernization projects. For more information visit www.tsri.com
Philip Newcomb, founder and CEO of The Software Revolution, Inc. (TSRI), is an internationally recognized expert in the application of artificial intelligence and formal methods to software engineering. He led a team of software engineers to develop TSRI’s acclaimed architecture-driven modernization services and JANUS Studio toolset.