Reverse engineering of system software

Reverse engineering isn’t limited to mechanical engineering and system hardware. Today, it covers system software and even databases. We at Enventure Technologies offer reverse engineering services as part of our application development package.

Reverse engineering is highly important to system software designers. Why? Well, programs are written in a language understandable by other programmers, for example Java. However, before it can be used on a computer, the language must first be translated into binary code (called machine code) by another program, called a compiler. All those ones and zeroes are incomprehensible to the average system software programmer. However, machine code can be translated back to a more readable format using decompiler software tools.

People think of system software re-engineering in terms of criminal activity. However, reverse engineering does not mean direct copying (which is illegal); rather, it is used as an analytical tool, which the programmer can use as a template to build their own unique design, in the same way PCB designer would.

It has many uses: as a learning aid; to create cheaper products; to make software programs more compatible with each other ; to bridge divides between different databases or operating systems, and to reveal features of commercial software products which, for whatever reason, have not been included in the technical documentation.

Reverse engineering of software is nothing new. In the 1980s, Phoenix Technologies reverse engineering services made world headlines when they used a clean-room approach to reverse-engineer a unique version of IBM’s BIOS (a program stored in embedded firmware, which runs each time the PC is started up.) This led to the first IBM- compatible computers coming on the market.

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