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Product Review
 

SCANALYZER by HENDELA SYSTEM CONSULTANTS, INC.
by
ROBERT P. HALPERN, Ph.D
.(reprinted courtesy of
Y2KLINKS)

According to the company brochure: "SCANALYZER Software can analyze any text-based language that can be exported to a Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 PC." For the uninitiated, Scanalyzer would be employed in the Impact Analysis phase of a Year 2000 project. For your reference, I performed my evaluation of the software on a two-year-old 75 MHz Pentium with 32MB RAM, in a Windows 95 environment.

Installation:

Loading the software was easy and quick from your typical a:/setup.exe. I had no problem installing to my second hard disk, drive d:. Scanalyzer requires a minimum 386/33 and 8MB RAM (I would say you’ll be much happier with at least a Pentium and 16MB RAM). While only 4MB storage is required for installation, storing results may require upwards of 100MB. The company says the software will also operate in a Windows 3.11 for Workgroups environment.

Scanalyzer Use:

Scanalyzer’s manual has several deficiencies. I know, "What documentation isn’t deficient?" In defense of the package, please note that the documentation is undergoing re-write. However, knowing nothing about the software, when I tried to use the manual’s "step-by-step" instructions, I failed to get the software to function. Read the manual thoroughly before you attempt to do anything, and then rely on your experience.

The software has the standard Microsoft "look and feel". A notable exception is the inability to exit via the "X"-button. The software is written in FoxPro, and performs admirably. Most controls can be found by clicking on the Fox, which is how you exit a screen if a door icon is not available. This can be irritating or not, depending on your tolerance for such things.

The package comes with a base set of some 1200 date related text strings, and lists the following language selections: C, C++, CLIPPER, dBase, FOCUS, FORTRAN, FOXPRO, NOMAD, OTHER, PASCAL, RPG. Now, don’t get your nose out of joint just because you don’t see 370 Assembler or COBOL II or (credit to Don Estes, Don Estes Associates) the last surviving lines of ALGOL. Scanalyzer will handle any text-based source code. I ran code in ASM H, C, NOMAD, FOXPRO, ALGOL, and COBOL with satisfactory results.

To use Scanalyzer, you first copy your text-based source files into directories on your PC that you can establish in any way which is most meaningful for your shop. Then, you set up an application. The number of applications is only limited by your hard drive space. You then tie to your applications to source files via the File Location Maintenance screen which allows you to tie a specific path to a specific application’s files. You then enter Text to Find Maintenance to add any text strings needed for the specific application that are not already in the database of strings. The next step is to import the files for scanning, and then to flag files that should not be scanned. Then you scan, and you’re ready to display or print results.

There are financial and resource estimating factors that can be set by the user. These include Pre-Conversion Analysis Estimate (time required to determine if a single hit actually needs to be changed), Code Conversion Estimate (time required to change a line of code to be Y2K Compliant), and Unit Testing Estimate (time to actually unit test, revise and verify that the changed code is actually Year 2000 Compliant). The is no specific place for estimation of resources for System, Regression and Acceptance Testing. However, I’m sure creative software users will warp the intention of the Unit Testing factor to include Acceptance testing and all others.

The reports were convenient and meaningful, and can be displayed or printed. Stock reports include: Results (applications, lines of code and tokens found), Files (files imported, total number of lines, and whether the file was scanned), Summary (significant tokens found and the associated estimate to change them), and Text to Find (the list of tokens used during the scan). Results are stored in DBF format for other user defined uses.

Impressions:

Hendela’s Scanalyzer is a solid piece of work, comparable to most in its class. Scanalyzer is sufficiently flexible to allow you to set things up the way your shop or client organizes things, and not according to Hendela’s idea of organization. While the software may be more oriented toward x-base languages by virtue of its added ability to find date issues in DBF structures, you can perform Impact Analysis for COBOL or any text-based language. However, the tool loses functional advantage when you break away from x-base.

My opinion: at a cost of $2,500.00 per workstation (not available as a multi-user), I would look it over very seriously if I had significant code in FoxPro, dBase III+ or IV, etc. However, if your environment is MVS, COBOL II, CICS & DB2, then you might find other packages are more suited to your needs.

Scanalyzer is available from Hendela System Consultants, Inc., P.O.Box 766, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071-0766. You can reach them at 1-888-SCANY2K. Their email address is INFO@SCANY2K.COM and their web-site is located at www.scany2k.com.

Rob Halpern

PLEION SYSTEMS,INC.
21 Hawthorne Court
Maple Shade, NJ 08052
Phone: (609) 321-9191
Fax: (609) 482-2517
Web Site:
http://www.pleion1.com
Robert P. Halpern, Ph.D.
"Competitive Advantage through Information Technology"

 

Copyright 1997-2007 Hendela System Consultants, Inc.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Last Updated: 01/09/2007