Your Company Already Has the Code You Need, but You’ll Never Find It

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Your Company Already Has the Code You Need, but You’ll Never Find It

· Java Zone ·
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Enterprise Source Code – A Multi-Million Dollar Under-Utilized Asset

When most people think about a company’s assets, source code doesn’t show up on the list. Yet millions of dollars are spent every year to create and maintain code, often with little focus on leveraging existing code assets that are hiding somewhere in your organization. This is the reality for most large companies managing hundreds of millions of lines of code -- the majority of which was purpose-built to solve specific application problems. And most of that code is locked up in a source control management system (SCM) specific to an app or to an organization. 

APIs – Looking Around For Reference Info

Today’s applications frequently leverage API calls to other internal or external components. While some APIs are easy to understand, most are not. The typical API has little documentation and few good examples, so it can be frustrating and time consuming for people to figure out how to use them successfully.
The easy answer to this problem would be to either enable people to see examples of how other people have already used an API or to provide visibility into the code behind the API. To accomplish this, developers would need an easy way to search for and view an API call within existing code stored in enterprise code repositories.


IDE Won’t Solve the Problem

So you’re probably thinking “Gee, I thought that developers could already easily do this, right?” While developers can leverage code search from within their local IDE, they are limited to seeing what’s in their workspace. And getting visibility to code in other SCMs can even be more difficult. Further, because up to 80% of the code in apps today can come from open source projects, being able to extend the search capability to include open source projects that live outside the organization also becomes important.

Code Search  -  Yes, They Do Make Tools For That

There is one type of tool that could help you take better advantage of internal and external code: Enterprise Code Search. Enterprise Code Search (ECS) tools can index massive amounts of internal code from many different SCMs, providing developers with easy-to-use search tools that can display formatted code. ECS tools can search both internally-indexed code bases and external open source software repositories. These tools have pre-built adapters to connect to and index code from leading SCM products, and because they provide read-only access, can be implemented without impact to the actual SCM systems. And ECS tools can provide plug-ins for developer IDEs, further integrating code search into a developer’s every day experience.

ECS tools can help organizations leverage years of development investments to lower the cost of today’s software development.  So while some organizations may have already figured out how to wholesale reuse some of their code, every organization has the opportunity to help their development teams develop new applications faster by providing them greater visibility into existing enterprise code bases.

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