Legacy App Modernization Services: Strategy
So, the idea of legacy software modernization has been put in your head. What’s next? Get it out or let it grow?
First, you should understand how much time, budget, and human resources will be taken to reach the objective. To help you assess the scope of the problem, Jellyfish.tech shares the most common strategies and steps to software modernization.
Even if you aren’t directly involved in the transformation and consider legacy application modernization services agency, you are still expected to be aware of key strategies that may be applied to “revitalize” your product. In addition, we hope this information will make planning and governing the process of app modernization a little simpler.
- Steps to Legacy Modernization
- Strategies to Modernize Legacy Applications
- Legacy Application Modernization Services: What Strategy to Choose?
The best option to start modernizing the software is the audit of the high-level application architecture, components, and functionality. The audit helps detect system bottlenecks, manage the risks, and recommend the most appropriate solution based on the customer requirements that should be met during the legacy software modernization.
The application architecture is worth being examined at least to understand what code should be analyzed during the next step. Of course, if the quality of the application is low, it’s possible to identify the majority of mistakes already on the stage of the architecture audit.
A comprehensive code audit to detect code errors, identify and analyze the vulnerability of the code, forecast and prevent the detected vulnerability in the future.
In addition, we shouldn’t forget about technical application support. Unfortunately, no exact statistics are available, but most researchers are positive that approximately half of all time allocated to maintain the application is spent on reading the already written code to add new functionality, fix bugs, integrate into new environments, etc.
That is why cleaning up the code mess is a must-do during the legacy software modernization for app modification and expand the functionality.
The main objective of the performance testing is the identification of the application’s stability, work performance, and amount of resource consumption, and other attributes of quality in different use scenarios and loads.
Such tests allow detecting the flaws and system bottlenecks to define and prioritize the application parts that should be scaled during the modernization, as well as the modernized system work performance requirements.
After the legacy system has been analyzed and weak points have been detected, we can move to modernization that may include the following steps:
Refactoring is a process of amending the application system in such a way to change only the internal code structure making it simpler and clearer without influencing the result.
This activity is aimed at streamlining, structuring, and systematization of chaotic (for certain reasons) code, debugging, and improvement of the application performance.
Automatic unit tests are a crucial part of the software modernization process. It would be better if the application is upgraded in the format of short iterations accompanied by writing and running unit tests. Their value lies in detecting the errors right away and ensuring the application’s efficiency.
In the perfect world, developers would run these tests each time when compiling to keep the process of app modernization under control.
In general, most legacy systems are monolithic applications. This fact makes difficult to modernize the app components whether it is scaling a certain part that requires it the most, or adding the functionality.
Fact remains that monolithic architecture doesn’t allow changing a system part in isolation. Modifying the functional unit is impossible without modifying the whole structure of the system. Replacing monolithic applications by modular ones precisely for adding flexibility is one of the solutions the modernization is aimed at.
Cloud computing promises a bunch of benefits for businesses, including the possibility of continuous integration and delivery during the process of legacy app modernization.
The concept of continuous integration & delivery (CI/ CD) offers as its name suggests, the assembly line of code testing and delivery with the opportunity to continuously merge the recently written code in the mainline one. In other words, a developer submits only the small application segment, accompanied by unit tests (as it’s been mentioned above) to make sure the code fulfills the functions envisaged.
CI/CD are the vital steps to modernize your legacy application that simplify further support and cycles of updates.
The software documentation that is a basis of building the modernization strategy when working on legacy tech projects can often be incomplete, obsolete, or absent. Based on our experience, reverse-engineering is the best practice to apply in such cases.
The main objective of the reverse-engineering process lays in researching the application design to understand its work principles and mechanisms and find the undocumented features for further project modernization.
Working on legacy software modernization is a long and complex process that requires the team to conduct extensive research on the market and technologies available.
And if the market research could be done in-house, it’s better to leave the project estimate and legacy application audit to the dedicated team of qualified developers, especially if your product is live and has a certain number of users. Choosing the right legacy software modernization strategy is a fundamental decision that shows the direction to further development.
The wrong direction will mislead your technical team even if each of them is a real professional with proven experience. This is exactly the reason to search for the consultant who will be able to manage the risks and pick up the proper strategy.
You may check out our software modernization case study with the real project example. We talk about a vision we’ve drawn upon while developing an approach, based on the custom project characteristics. Anyway, this case may become the starting point for bringing up the idea of software modernization.