Developer(s)Scientific Toolworks, Inc.
Stable release
6.1[1] / September 10, 2021; 2 years ago (2021-09-10)
Operating systemWindows, Mac OS X, Linux
Available inAda, Cobol, Ansi C, K&R C, Ansi C++, C#, FORTRAN, Java, Jovial, Pascal, PL/M, Python, VHDL, Objective C, Objective C++, HTML, PHP, JavaScript, XML
TypeStatic program analysis
LicenceProprietary commercial software

Understand is a customizable integrated development environment (IDE) that enables static code analysis through an array of visuals, documentation, and metric tools.[2] It was built to help software developers comprehend, maintain, and document their source code.[3] It enables code comprehension by providing flow charts of relationships and building a dictionary of variables and procedures from a provided source code.[4][5]


Understand Call Tree
A Call Tree in Understand by Scitools

In addition to functioning as an integrated development environment, Understand provides tools for metrics and reports, standards testing, documentation, searching, graphing, and code knowledge. It is capable of analyzing projects with millions of lines of code and works with code bases written in multiple languages.[6] Developed originally for Ada, it now supports development in several common programming languages.[7]


Understand has been used globally for government, commercial, and academic use. It is used in many different industries to both analyze and develop software. Specific uses include a variety of applications: code validation for embedded systems,[4] software litigation consulting,[8] reverse engineering and documentation,[9] and source code change analysis.[10]


  1. ^ "Announcements".
  2. ^ Dragomir, Mircea (1 December 2015). "Understand". Softpedia.com. Softpedia. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  3. ^ D'Ambros, Marco (2008). "Analysing Software Repositories to Understand Software Evolution" (PDF). Software Evolution: 37–67. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-76440-3_3. ISBN 978-3-540-76439-7.
  4. ^ a b Martin, George (March 2011). "The Project-Ready Designer". No. 248. Circuit Cellar. p. 57. Retrieved 8 December 2015. ((cite magazine)): Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  5. ^ "Source Code Analysis Tools". Retrieved 30 August 2022.
  6. ^ Adkins, Francis; Jones, Luke (24 April 2015). "Machine Assisted Semantic Understanding" (PDF). INSuRE. Northeastern University. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  7. ^ Richard, Brett (24 May 2013). "Source Code Analyzers as a Development Tool". Flurry.com. Yahoo Developer Tools. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  8. ^ Loren, Lydia; Johnson-Laird, Andy. "Computer Software-Related Litigation" (PDF). FCLR.org. Federal Courts Law Review. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  9. ^ Phillips, Michael; Mok, Amy. "Spacecraft Flight Software Design Pattern Discovery" (PDF). Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. Lockheed Martin Corporation. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  10. ^ Eshow, Michelle (1 June 2014). "RTMA Source Code Change Analysis" (PDF). Aviation Systems Division. NASA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 December 2015. Retrieved 7 December 2015.