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Software Visualization

Definition - What does Software Visualization mean?

Software visualization is the practice of creating visual tools to map software elements or otherwise display aspects of source code. This can be done with all kinds of programming languages in different ways with different criteria and tools.

The fundamental idea behind software visualization is that by creating visual interfaces, creators can help developers and others to understand code or to reverse-engineer applications. A lot of the power of software visualization has to do with understanding relationships between pieces of code, where specific visual tools, such as windows, will present this information in an accessible way. Other features may involve different kinds of diagrams or templates that developers can use to compare existing code to a certain standard.

Techopedia explains Software Visualization

Experts point out that software visualization typically uses metric data about software, as well as the actual source code, to showcase how code works through various kinds of mapping and presentation. Software visualization can be used for quality control in software development or, again, to try to reverse-engineer code.

Various tools have been built for software visualization. For instance, AgileJ StructureViews helps with software visualization for Java, with features including filtering tools for distinguishing Java elements, including classes, fields and methods, as well as batching technology. Another prominent type of software visualization tool is Microsoft Visual Studio. Visual Studio works with multiple programming languages and includes a lot of software visualization functionality, as well as top-level interface design, that helps developers to build applications for Windows operating systems. In general, Visual Studio is a visual interface to support object-oriented programming. It not only helps individuals and teams to create applications from scratch, but it also does the sort of things that software visualization is intended to help with; by creating Windows-based mapping and visual design, it shows relationships between code modules as part of a greater structural approach to coding that is inherently visual and distributed in nature.

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