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CASE Tools

August 12, 2009
Computer-aided software engineering (CASE) is the use of software tools to assist in the development and maintenance of software. Tools used to assist in this way are known as CASE Tools.
All aspects of the software development lifecycle can be supported by software tools, and so the use of tools from across the spectrum , be described as CASE; from project management software through tools for business and functional analysis, system design, code storage, compilers, translation tools, test software, and etc.,

However, it is the tools that are concerned with analysis and design, and with using design information to create parts (or all) of the software product, that are most frequently thought of as CASE tools.

For example, CASE can be applied to a Database software product might normally involve:

– Modeling business / real world processes and data flow.
– Development of data models in the form of entity-relationship diagrams.
– Development of process and function descriptions.
– Production of database creation SQL and stored procedures.
The term CASE was originally coined by software company, Nastec Corporation of Southfield, Mich. in 1982 with their original integrated graphics and text editor
CASE tools were at their peak in the early 1990s. At the time IBM had proposed AD/Cycle which was an alliance of software vendors centered on IBM’s mainframe:
With the decline of the mainframe, AD/Cycle and the Big CASE tools died off, opening the market for the mainstream CASE tools of today. Interestingly, nearly all of the leaders of the CASE market of the early 1990s ended up being purchased by Computer Associates.

Types of CASE Tools:
– Code generation tools
– Data modeling tools
– Refactoring tools
– QVT or Model transformation Tools
– Configuration management tools including revision control

1) Code Generation tools:

In IT, the term automatic programming identifies a type of computer programming in which some mechanism generates a computer program rather than have human programmers to write the code.

There has been little agreement on the precise definition of automatic programming, mostly because its meaning has changed over time. David Parnas, tracing the history of “automatic programming” in published research, noted that in the 1940s it described automation of the manual process of punching paper tape.
Source code generation is the process of generating source code basing on an ontological model such as a template and is accomplished with a programming tool such as a template processor or an IDE. These tools allow the generation of source code through any of various means. The simplest form of source code generator is a macro processor, such as the C preprocessor, which replaces patterns in source code according to relatively simple rules.
IDEs such as Microsoft Visual Studio and Eclipse have more advanced forms of source code generation, with which the programmer can interactively select and customization of source code. Program “wizards”, which allow the programmer to design graphical user interfaces interactively while the compiler invisibly generates the corresponding source code, are another common form of source code generation.
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