Architecture Visualization Scales to Millions of Lines of Code

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A next-generation software architecture visualization system incorporates a new graphical interface for viewing the relationships between software program elements. The system is integrated with CodeSonar, the static-analysis tool for detecting defects from GrammaTech. CodeSonar is a static-analysis tool that performs a whole-program, interprocedural analysis on C/C++ code, and identifies complex programming bugs that can result in system crashes, memory corruption, concurrency errors and other serious problems.

The growing complexity of large software systems makes it more difficult for developers to test and analyze the interrelationships between elements of source code. CodeSonar visualization is designed to optimize visual inspection and analysis of software. It offers real-time, fluid transitions for developers to visualize massive data sets to work at different levels of abstraction. The software makes extensive use of the graphics processing unit (GPU), is very high performance, and can handle very large code bases of about 10M+ lines of code.

CodeSonar visualization displays the program’s call graph organized according to the module structure of the program. Graphic layouts can be changed in real time and present data in tree, map, circuit, cluster, flow, radial and other layouts. Data is featured in a layered way that provides a high-level view with drill-down capability; users can explore the program from the bottom up as well.

CodeSonar visualization also includes other program understanding and navigation features, and supports annotations and sharing of diagrams between team members. With CodeSonar visualization, users can start at individual functions to gain insight from a bottom-up perspective, annotate nodes and edges with additional information, and overlay the visualization with information on defects and source-code metrics such as complexity.

Other features include the ability for users to search the graph for functions of interest, view the graph in a variety of different layouts, and navigate to and from the source code of the program. In addition, the architecture is extensible, so users can generate graphs from other sources, feed them in an XML format to the tool and see them in the same user interface. CodeSonar visualization runs through a standard web client such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome browsers. An early release version is available to customers today.

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