Cut through code complexity

CodeLogic 2.0 generates useful graphical views of C# and Java source

Logic Explorers’ CodeLogic 2.0 belongs to a species of tools I refer to as “interactive diagrammers.” Point CodeLogic to a collection of C# or Java source files, and the tool will crawl through them, organize what it discovers, and present you with several graphical views built from what it’s learned.

The views it offers include the familiar UML (Unified Modeling Language) class and sequence diagrams, as well as a novel flow diagram that, at first glance, appears to be merely a glorified flowchart but which is in fact a useful, interactive graph. You can, for example, jump to the location in source code corresponding to any node in the diagram. You can also “backtrack” variables, which causes the diagram to trace the flow of control that a variable will pass through from its inception. This feature was not working in the C# version of CodeLogic 2.0 I tested, but I did see it in action in the Version 1.5 for Java edition. (CodeLogic engineers assured me that backtracking would be fixed in the C# edition by release time.)

CodeLogic’s diagram generation is entirely automatic. The tool requires only the location of your source code. So, when you define a new project, you’re actually defining the directory holding the source files. (This functionality means that you can add new files to the project simply by depositing the source files in the proper directory.)

CodeLogic 2.0 also comes with a plug-in for Visual Studio. Set your cursor inside a method in source, click on one of the buttons CodeLogic adds to the toolbar, and off you go. Although there are some rough edges to CodeLogic, it does make reverse engineering C# or Java code — acquired or inherited — vastly simpler than spelunking through unfamiliar source.

CodeLogic 2.0, Logic Explorers
Cost: Starts at $295 per single-user license
Available: September 2004

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

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