Impact Analysis

Understand all the impact of change before the project begins. CM evolveIT can offer comprehensive documentation  at the system, module and down to the detailed understanding of which data fields will be impacted by the change even if data is defined, redefined and used by different names.

CM evolveIT’s impact analysis solution leverages the automated analysis to accurately understand and document the impact of change.  Our solution will not miss things like data reference by different names because  each component has already been located and linked together in the system repository built by CM evolveIT’s  compiler-like parsing technology.  In essence, CM evolveIT understands your system code and eliminates the “noise” of code that is unrelated to the desired change.

Download:  Case Study – Impact Analysis                                                  Schedule your demonstration 

CM First Impact Analysis Documentation Includes

System diagrams for impacted components

  • Batch Flow
  • Program to Copybook
  • File to Program
  • Many more connectivity diagrams and reports

Data Analysis

  • Data Set Impacts
  • Data Field direct usage by program
  • Data Field indirect usage by program
  • Impacted data fields by population path
  • Impacted data fields by usage path

Additional system documentation

  • Metrics for impacted components, complexity, size…
  • Individual program control flow
  • Interface map
Mainframe Challenge

Today, when programmer/analyst use existing mainframe tools to conduct impact analysis they must conduct repeated scans in order to gather bits and pieces of information related to the origin of the data and the elements of the system being changed.  Each scan must be researched and refined by eliminating the “false hits” and manually organizing and documenting the information in excel, word or another format to be shared with other team members.

While this can be a very time consuming process, the biggest risk and potentially costly mistake is when components are missed along this string of impacts because of data name changes.  Different data names, buried statements, and the sheer number of possible paths to follow allow too much room for error. Even small system changes can have significant down line system impact and if missed can have significant business implications. Using CM First tools, you no longer have to worry about missed impacts causing downstream code defects.

Why is CM evolveIT the best Impact Analysis tool available for COBOL

CM evolveIT provides system-wide impact analysis at the field level.  The results of CM evolveIT’s impact analysis not only shows every location that a field is used in all of the Cobol programs in your system, it also includes the uses of the field by a different name (Redefine, Group Usage, Sub-element Usage).  CM evolveIT understands data structures.  When completing an impact analysis, CM evolveIT identifies uses of all overlapping fields based on the offset and length (absolute location) of the data within the data structure.  This allows CM evolveIT to find all impacts. 

 CM evolveIT then takes the impact analysis one step further to give you the population (backwards) path and usage (forward) path for a complete data flow analysis.  This step guarantees the analyst that they have not only the direct impacts from a field change but also the impacts through MOVE and CALCULATE statements that cause impacts to other data items.

CM evolveIT also provides the ability to “Trace” data down specific forward or backward paths across File/Database Read/Write, and call/Link execution (linkage) paths, System Utilities Such As  Sort/Idcams Processes so the analyst can see how data flows across the entire system.

Top 5 problems encountered from incomplete impact analysis
  1. Impacts to report programs:  No one notices for several runs of the report, reruns of the report job will be needed after the corrective measures are complete.
  2. Impacts to other systems that also use changed data fields and files.
  3. Error in judgment from scan results creates rework:   Bug occurs after release that wasn’t anticipated by a change.
  4. Missed impacts to other data fields in population data path.
  5. Missed impacts to other data fields in data usage path.


Impact Analysis is also a Service Available from CM First

CM First’s impact analysis service provides a full system cross reference database that can be loaded into DB2, Access, or Excel so it can be further queried by your programmer/analyst.

SolutionsBusiness Rules ExtractionLegacy DecommissioningApplication MaintenanceDead Obsolete CodeModernization Planning