XTRAN, LLC — Automating Software and Data Engineering


We are an independent software vendor (ISV).
We have developed the following powerful meta-tools
for automating software and data engineering tasks:

XTRAN, LLC's Meta-Product Stack


A meta-tool that combines compiler and expert system technologies to
automate software, data, and text tasks, using its rules language:

  • Code assessment / analysis
  • Code transformation / re-engineering
  • Code translation
  • Code generation
  • Data analysis & manipulation
  • Text analysis & manipulation


A no-code / low-code utility (powered by XTRAN) for
automating the template-driven generation, from a data repository
or other data sources, of:

  • Code, in any language
  • Web content
  • Documentation
  • Transformed data (e.g., ETL)
  • Data quality reports
  • XML
  • JSON
  • EDI
  • Reports
  • DevOps artifacts
  • IoT streams
  • Dashboard feeds
  • Any data format or protocol!

Data tasks TemplaGen can automate include:

  • Data assessment / analysis
  • Data cleanup
  • Data transformation
  • Relational normalization / denormalization
  • Ontology & taxonomy normalization / denormalization
  • Data combination / distribution
  • Data generation
  • Automated and synchronized generation of code, data,
    and text artifacts from a master data repository
  • Tasks with multiple data sources and multiple target artifacts

We provide XTRAN and TemplaGen training and consulting.

We also provide general consulting and Expert Witness services.

NOTE — in 2013 our name changed from Pennington SYSTEMS INCORPORATED to XTRAN, LLC.
  Our Web and email address domain changed from Pennington.com to XTRAN-LLC.com.

Wouldn't you like to automate your software and data work?

  Get more done with existing staff by multiplying their effort    Reduce cost of software and data creation and maintenance
   Increase and monitor software and data quality
   Shorten software schedules
   Increase profitability and competitiveness    Reduce backlogs
   Increase transparency and accountability    Reduce risk of delayed delivery, cost overruns, or even project failure

You can, using XTRAN and TemplaGen!

XTRAN is a software meta-tool that marries compiler and expert system technologies to automate software and data tasks throughout the Software Development Life Cycle — manipulating a wide variety of computer languages, data, and text — using a rules language that can be learned by any senior software developer.

XTRAN is used by large and small organizations around the World to automate their assessment, transformation, generation, and translation of code, data, and text:

 Translating a chip manufacturing Automated Testing system from MACRO-11 assembly code to C.  Providing PL/I code quality monitoring and automated remediation for a major consumer data vendor.
 Translating data capture and command/control software for the Joint European Torus (JET) fusion reactor in the UK from Norsk Data NPL to C.  Translating parts of a submarine GPS position capture system from Pascal to C.
 Cross-linking and indexing XTRAN's own User's Manual in HTML.  Translating an automatic transmission modeling system from PL/I to C.
 Translating an Italian airport Air Traffic Control System from PL/M to C.  Automating forensic code analysis in support of expert witness activities.
 Error-checking links and creating the site map for this Web site's HTML.  Translating parts of the City of London's traffic light control system from VAX assembly code to C.
  Translating parts of an Australian AWACS system from VAX Pascal to C.  Creating a command-driven text processing utility.
 Translating a Swiss parking lot control system from an ancient Pascal dialect to C++ , and finding subtle real-time bugs in the original Pascal.  Translating parts of a European "faster than real-time" air route loading simulator from PL/I to C.
 Modernizing a substantial body of old Fortran code comprising an Independent Software Vendor's product.  Automating generation of code, Web, documentation, and other artifacts from repository data (TemplaGen)

"With XTRAN and TemplaGen, code and data become clay,
XTRAN's rules language creates the modeling tools,
and you are the sculptor."

Stephen F. Heffner, author of XTRAN       

"When you first read about XTRAN's capabilities it sounds like magic.
There are numerous working examples available of its capabilities
so you can see its usefulness for yourself."

— Charlie Bess, EDS / HP Fellow (retired) in his blog,     
"Beyond the Intersection of Business and IT"     

"We have used this product because we had to convert our software
written in various languages, among those Pascal.  Migration on a new
processor board was mandatory and we also used the opportunity
to have the code written in C++ and cleaned up.

"XTRAN is a great tool to achieve such a conversion.  Steve's support
was great too.  With only 2 programmers and XTRAN, we managed the
conversion of a decade of investment in a short time."

Bernard Lacoste, CEO of ZEAG       
(now Hub Parking Technology),       
Spreitenbach, Switzerland

It's all about leverage

XTRAN's rules language and TemplaGen templates provide tremendous leverage in automating software, data, and text work.  Minor tasks take hours to automate, significant tasks take days, and major tasks take weeks.

Here are some illustrations involving relatively small software, data, and text automation tasks, with links to the relevant examples.  Most of these XTRAN rules are generalized and parameterized, so they can be used in many different situations.

Those marked with {LI} are also language-independent, so they are usable without change for many languages.

       Software task automated    Time to create & debug rules

    Tally tokens in a text file      < ½ hour
    Create HTML image table from image file name list      < 1 hour
    Mine Web pages for keywords      < 1 hour
    Analyze straight-line code (SLC) run length by code nesting depth {LI}      1 hour
    Replace COBOL arithmetic statements with COMPUTEs      1 hour
    Link parent statements with ending child statements, render as HTML {LI}    1 hour
    Recursive vs. iterative factorial computation    1 hour
    Insert anchors into HTML      < 2 hours
    Forensic analysis of function signatures {LI}      < 2 hours
    Count significant word occurrences in text      < 2 hours
    Sum integer DSV field for each of another field's text values      < 2 hours
    Markov analysis of code statement type transitions, output as DSV {LI}      < 2 hours
    Normalize vocabulary in DSV data      < 2 hours
    Tally DSV Values by Field Name      < 2 hours
    Analyze computer language features used {LI}      2 hours
    Compute Fog Index for prose text      < 3 hours
    Interactive query of code/data/text mining results      < 3 hours
    Normalize tags and vocabulary in XML      < 3 hours
    Colorize code based on nesting depth, render as HTML {LI}      < 3 hours
    Enable sorting of DSV data      < 3 hours
    Highlight expressions & operators, render as HTML {LI}      < 3 hours
    Content-addressable data storage & interactive retrieval      < 3 hours
    Create shell script to renumber files based on name patterns {LI}      < 3 hours
    Format text items into columns      < 3 hours
    Generate HTML table rows from DSV data      < 4 hours
    Command-driven text processing utility      < 4 hours
    Add I/O documentation to code      4 hours
    Highlight file & terminal I/O, render as HTML      4 hours
    Vertically align DSV data items, with options      < 5 hours
    Manipulate tree dependencies      < 6 hours
    Command-driven abstracting of COBOL code {LI}      7 hours
    Error-check HTML links & create site map      8 hours
    Analyze word phrases in text      < 9 hours
   Automate artifact generation from repository data {LI} (TemplaGen    10 hours

How can such powerful and generalized task automation be created in so little time?  Because there is so much capability already available as part of XTRAN's rules language, primarily via XTRAN's built-in meta-functions.

XTRAN comes with many existing rule sets, including those listed above, for automating a wide variety of tasks, so you can start using it right out of the box.  And, after training, you can modify existing rules or create new ones to make XTRAN do exactly what you want.

What kinds of tasks can XTRAN automate?

What can you automate with XTRAN?

Via its rules language, XTRAN provides automation of virtually any software task to the greatest possible extent.   We support this claim with many .

XTRAN's capabilities include automating every aspect of every software project and process of areas to which XTRAN has been applied include:

How can XTRAN and TemplaGen benefit you?

The benefits of XTRAN and TemplaGen apply to any organization with responsibility for a significant amount of code and/or data.  To find out how, please review the following common benefits first:

Then return here and select the organization type that best describes you:


Whether you want to document, analyze, standardize, improve, or re-engineer your code, need to change programming languages, computer hardware, operating systems, or APIs, or analyze or manipulate data or text, our software and services can help you.  Put our 50+ years of creating sophisticated, high quality software to work for you!

Questions?  Comments?

If you have questions or comments about XTRAN, us, or this Web site, please

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