Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Database Reverse Engineering

  • Jean-Luc HainautEmail author
  • Jean Henrard
  • Vincent Englebert
  • Didier Roland
  • Jean-Marc Hick
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_646


Database design recovery; Database redocumentation


Database reverse engineering is the process through which the logical and conceptual schemas of a legacy database, or of a set of files, are reconstructed from various information sources such as DDL code, data dictionary contents, database contents or the source code of application programs that use the database.

Basically, database reverse engineering comprises three processes, namely physical schema extraction, logical schema reconstruction, and schema conceptualization. The first process consists in parsing the DDL code or the contents of an active data dictionary in order to extract the physical schema of the database. Reconstructing the logical schema implies analyzing additional sources such as the data and the source code of the application programs to discover implicit constraints and data structures, that is, constructs that have not been declared but that are managed by the information system or by its...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Luc Hainaut
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jean Henrard
    • 1
  • Vincent Englebert
    • 1
  • Didier Roland
    • 1
  • Jean-Marc Hick
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NamurNamurBelgium

Section editors and affiliations

  • Alexander Borgida
    • 1
  1. 1.Rutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA