How TestWise works
Application code is first preprocessed by a tool specific to the language in which the application code is written. You can have different tools for the same language but using another vendor's compiler. For example, both the IBM and Microsoft compilers are supported under the Windows version of the tool suite. The preprocessor for IBM VisualAge is called atacICC and the preprocessor for Microsoft Visual Studio is called atacCL. These tools are identified in the above graphic as the "TestWise preprocessor".
The job of the TestWise preprocessor is to instrument the code and produce instrumentation files with the extension ".atac". Each analyzed source file will have a corresponding ".atac" file. The TestWise preprocessor will then invoke the compiler and linker to build the application. Once the application is executable a resulting trace file will be produced with the default name of "atac.trace". The name of the trace file can be configured by the user. Every time the executable is run, the trace file gets updated. The tool suite is notified of the updated information.
The user's source code plus the instrumentation (".atac", files and the trace,".trace", file) are the foundation the rest of the tools need to do their work.
- -Monty Swaiss, Cleanscape CTO