LEGACY APPLICATION UPGRADES
We have extensive experience adding new features and upgrades to existing platforms and legacy applications. Sooner or later all legacy applications will eventually reach the end of their life cycle. We are here for you when this happens with complete application rewrites. We use multiple guided processes such as ‘closed parallel’ approach to ensure that your data, functions and business processes work as they did while we add the new features your business demands.
As outlined in our approach to moving away from legacy systems, which you can read more about here (link to roadmaps away from legacy page), we have a standardized approach to application modernization. The primary approaches include:
Upgrading Legacy Systems The languages and technologies used in the legacy system are upgraded to the latest and greatest versions.
Replacement Specific components or a singular component may be identified as the weakest link. A user interface, middle tier, or database system may introduce a significant bottleneck or inefficiency. The replacement of these targeted components often produces significant cost-effective results.
Strategic Forklift Often times a complete migration away from a platform is unrealistic, however, the benefits of a new platform are desired and justified. A strategic forklift allows for a planned migration; a workflow at a time. Vertical slices of a solution can be upgraded and remain integrated with the legacy system. This provides great flexibility in cost, timing, and risk mitigation.
Migration A complete migration away from legacy produces the greatest immediate impact to your business. Efficiency is maximized however this methodology commonly requires the greatest investment and can introduce the most risk. With appropriate planning and execution, migration can drive tremendous value to an enterprise.
Here we want to show offerings for upgrading legacy systems. Our philosophy and experience have taught us that there are two primary and distinct avenues when upgrading legacy applications. These are manifested in feature enhancements and new features. We also support other outliers such as bug fixes, hotfixes, and patches. Let’s break the primary items out further.
Feature enhancements This involves our team working with the business stakeholders to build requirements detailing which features or feature set need additional functionality. We detail how they work now and how they should work when the enhancements are complete. This gives us a snapshot of current and a detailed picture of the desired state. The comparison of these allows us to build a roadmap which outlines all of the steps required to fulfill the enhancement. When we are performing an enhancement we look for ways to improve efficiency and streamline any and all code in the legacy application. This is primary justification for roadmap documentation. As a general rule of thumb we will make additions and enhancements to the legacy code base utilizing the legacy technology, making any increased efficiencies where possible, in an attempt to reduce overall development time and project effort, thus keeping cost to a minimum.
New features This involves our team working with the business stakeholders to build requirements detailing which new features are required and how they should behave. In working with feature enhancements we are generally bound to the legacy technology in an attempt to save development time and effort. When creating and integrating new features we are bound much less to the original technology that with feature enhancements. In many cases it is possible to use new technology to support legacy application new features any only need to build a bridge between the technologies.
As an example, we were recently requested to create a financial calculator as a new feature in a legacy application. The cost of creating a calculator was very high. We are aware of financial calculators that are available for a very low cost from trusted internet sources via a technology named Web Services. Think of Web Services as technology ‘in the cloud’. These web services were not available when the original application was written; however, support for newer web services technology was available. We then created the bridge between the new web services technology and the legacy platform to consume this internet-based calculator saving significant development effort. This resulted in a much less expensive implementation, a much faster time to market and investment in newer technology that can be leveraged moving forward.
Why Leale Solutions?
Our experience teaches us that legacy is not a ‘dirty’ word. Legacy applications play a vital role in most businesses. There is rarely a need for all business platforms and work functions to be on the ‘latest and greatest’ technology. They just need to work and in some cases they need to be extended. This is a critical function that we here at Leale Solutions understand and embrace.