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Impact analysis

Impact Analysis:

In a nutshell...

Impact Analysis is used to identify the objects in a system that will be affected by a proposed change.

As an example: Suppose you wanted to estimate the cost of changing all occurrences of the word ‘customer’ to ‘patient’ in one of your applications. You would want to know how many objects would be affected and this would give you an estimate of the time time/cost required to perform the update.

Tell me more...

In the early days of computing, software consisted entirely of source code contained in text files. Programmers interacted with their software through source code editors. And every good source code editor provided find and replace commands which helped programmers to quickly locate and update specific text strings.

In recent years, the shape of software has changed. Today we have visual tools with integrated development environments. We think of our programs as collections of objects whose behavior is determined by information that we key into property sheets.

Each type of object has a specialized design interface. We have form designers, report designers, query designers, and yes, we still have source code editors. But the editor’s find and replace commands typically search only source code. There are no comparable commands for searching the hundreds of objects and thousands of properties that make up today’s typical project.

Impact analysis uses specialist software to inspect other software packages and report and enumerate all properties. Sometimes this software can be used to actually perform all the updates for you meaning updates can be done globally and consistently across many databases.

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