Database Reverse Engineering : from Requirements to CARE tools

Jean-Luc Hainaut, Vincent Englebert, Jean Henrard, Jean-Marc Hick, Didier Roland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper analyzes the requirements that CASE tools should meet for effective database reverse engineering (DBRE), and proposes a general architecture for data-centered applications reverse engineering CASE environments. First, the paper describes a generic DBMS-independent DBRE methodology, then it analyzes the main characteristics of DBRE activities in order to collect a set of desirable requirements. Finally, it describes DB-MAIN, an operational CASE tool developed according to these requirements. The main features of this tool that are described in this paper are its unique generic specification model, its repository, its transformation toolkit, its user interface, the text processors, the assistants, the methodological control and its functional extensibility. Finally, the paper describes five real-world projects in which the methodology and the CASE tool were applied.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-45
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of Automated Software Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • CASE tools
  • methodology
  • reverse engineering
  • database engineering
  • program understanding


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