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Chapter 2: Understanding the Revolve Transformation Product Suite

Revolve Enterprise Edition is a core product within a suite of products from MERANT, referred to as the Transformation Product Suite (TPS). This chapter describes all of the products within the suite.

Before you begin to look at Revolve Enterprise Edition in detail, you need to understand the architecture and capabilities of the Revolve TPS as a whole.

The Revolve TPS provides a 3-tier hierarchy of products for understanding, researching, analyzing and transforming your entire inventory of legacy enterprise systems to meet your current and future business demands.

The blue box shows what is contained within the EuroSmart product, and the pink box shows what is contained within the AssetMiner product. Both are in tier three.

2.1 Revolve

In the first tier of the Revolve TPS is Revolve. Revolve is a knowledge management environment for developers understanding, documenting and improving enterprise applications on a daily basis. It is the base product in the Revolve TPS and is included as part of any other product in the suite. Revolve's capabilities are used to parse all application components and populate the Revolve database with information about all applications in your system inventory. The Revolve 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 Revolve database to present a wide range of information about the application in seconds. Revolve 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.

By empowering programmers to:

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

The power of the Revolve capabilities comes from the fact that it contains an advanced language dialect parser specific to COBOL and not just a general purpose "text browser". Revolve 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 Revolve 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 parser supplied by default with Revolve supports:

Additional language/ dialect parsers are also available as options to provide specific support for:

1These options are available only as part of a complete Egility Traditional Development solution strategy. Please contact your MERANT sales representative for details.

2.2 Revolve Enterprise Edition

In the second tier of the Revolve TPS is Revolve Enterprise Edition. This is a knowledge management environment for central analysis teams estimating, assessing and managing inventory-wide global change programmes. It includes the base Revolve product and all its capabilities, but in addition it 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 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, 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 rather than the number of users. For this reason, a part of the license for Revolve Enterprise Edition includes a licence for a Usage Counter related to the size of the inventory involved. To utilize all the capabilities of Revolve Enterprise Edition across the whole application inventory requires the inventory to be ‘metered’. 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 of Revolve Enterprise Edition are available for use by anyone who is licensed to use Revolve Enterprise Edition.

2.3 Specific Problem-focused Products/Offerings

In the third tier of the Revolve TPS is a set of “specific problem focused products/offerings”.

Each of these includes, or uses, all of the Revolve Enterprise Edition capabilities (and hence all of the Revolve capabilities) but in addition each features either a “Plug-In” and/or service capability to address unique market or business requirements. The range of such products/offerings is increasing, so it’s wise to contact MERANT if you feel you require additional capabilities not described here. Currently MERANT offers “specific problem-focused products/offerings” to help in the following areas:

It’s important to note that any “Plug-In”, once licensed and installed, can operate against all metered application code. That is, an organization need meter its application inventory only once to benefit from the use of Revolve Enterprise Edition and any “Plug-In” licensed from MERANT.

Copyright © 2000 MERANT International Limited. All rights reserved.
This document and the proprietary marks and names used herein are protected by international law.

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