Open Access

EvolTrack: improving design evolution awareness in software development

  • Rafael da Silva Viterbo de Cepêda1Email author,
  • Andréa Magalhães Magdaleno1,
  • Leonardo Gresta Paulino Murta2 and
  • Cláudia Maria Lima Werner1
Journal of the Brazilian Computer Society201016:11

DOI: 10.1007/s13173-010-0011-5

Received: 20 December 2009

Accepted: 23 April 2010

Published: 11 June 2010


Software differs from most manufactured products because it is intangible. This characteristic makes it difficult to detect, control, and understand how it evolves. This paper presents an approach based on software visualization that can detect and externalize design evolution made in a software project during its initial development or at any further phase. By using this approach, a developer can be aware of the current state of the software as a whole and can additionally verify if the current design, also called emerging design, is evolving according to the team expectations and leader guidance, preventing problems caused by misunderstandings of the expected software solution. The approach was evaluated with free/open source software (FOSS) projects. The results indicate that the approach behaves as expected when applied to real software development projects, with minor performance bottlenecks.