Custom Application Development

Oct 6 2008   3:13PM GMT

Maintenance vs New Design



Posted by: SJC
Tags:
Application design
IT administration
IT Management
Software maintenance

My previous post made reference once again to the human interface design of an application and application speed considerations. As a follow-up to that post, I find myself thinking once again about a few of the issues which I have previously posted about code maintenance and new design. “Software Quality and Maintainability” was one of my earlier posts which may be of interest.

The topic of maintenance vs re-design once again (as with so many of my topics) has been prompted as the result of fresh experiences with my clients. My earlier post made reference to factors beyond the programming considerations which might otherwise be no problem, such as hardware or O/S issues. The current issue I’m dealing with however is really a useability issue. The client needs have changed so much that another maintenance band-aid to the existing program just isn’t appropriate. It is past time for updating – new design is the only logical option.

There is of course the shrinking budget — and that is an issue for this client at this time whether they were to decide to buy off-the-shelf or build. Perhaps this is a time for them to ignore? I think not! Their need is there, the budget isn’t. This is where they should be making plans for the future. They’re still working with what they have, and, inefficient though it is, they are getting by. However, by using this time for planning future IT infrastructure improvements they will be well served and perhaps be able to establish a method where their investment can be “piece mealed” and thus keep moving forward.

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  • Suzanne Wheeler
    Sounds like they need to make some big leaps in process improvement to catch up with their current business operations. This is definitely the time for planning and even a bit of dreaming about what the ideal system would be like. Thinking is free and may just be their best commodity right now. I'm sure the creativity is there to build workarounds into the design of a new system so it can be implemented incrementally as required by the budget. I'm thinking along the lines of, "Until we get the new all-in-one device we have to fax from the front office, make copies by the water cooler and all documents for scanning go to the graphics desk." On second thought, maybe they should just have a bake sale to raise extra capital? It works for education, doesn't it?
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