GrammaTech Investigates Modernization of Legacy Software

2/17/2004 - GrammaTech, Inc. announced that it has been awarded a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract by the Office Of The Secretary Of Defense (OSD) and the United States Navy (USN).

As hardware platforms age, manufacturers are less willing to support them and related technologies. Legacy weapons systems must eventually be modernized, but re-implementation of legacy software by hand is prohibitively expensive. A system is needed for automatically translating software written in obsolete languages like CMS-2 or assembly to a modern language like C. Previous attempts at translation have amounted to transliteration: they produced "high-level" code that closely mimics the low-level code. Some attempts even use global variables for registers. Translators that do more than this often assume that the low-level code was generated by a compiler, and hence adheres to certain conventions; such assumptions do not hold for legacy code. Under this SBIR contract, GrammaTech will investigate promising new methods for modernizing legacy software.

GrammaTech was founded in 1988 to design, develop, and market language-based productivity tools for software engineers. The company has an active research agenda sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Office Of The Secretary Of Defense (OSD), the United States Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), and the United States Navy (USN). The company has conducted previous research on dependence graphs, formal methods, and language-based programming, and has successfully transitioned its research into commercial software tools. GrammaTech currently markets CodeSurfer, a software-understanding tool, Ada-ASSURED, a language-sensitive editor, Ada-Utilities, a language-sensitive toolset for project-wide quality and standards auditing, and the Synthesizer Generator, a tool for developing language-sensitive program-development environments. These products are available directly from GrammaTech. Additional information is available on the Internet at

For more information contact Mark Zarins at GrammaTech, 317 N. Aurora St., Ithaca, NY 14850. Phone: 607-273-7340 EXT:22. Fax: 607-273-8752. E-mail:

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