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Software Maintenance Definition

What is Software Maintenance

Software maintenance is a part of the application lifecycle.  Since it is an important phase of the software development process, you need to determine what it is and why it’s important in your software business.

The software lifecycle does not begin and end with development. Even after deployment, your software needs monitoring and maintenance. As long as the software is running and users utilize its capabilities, the creators must make sure that it runs smoothly. 

That is when software maintenance enters the scene. This process ensures that the software keeps running without fault and reworks the system for future modifications. Additionally, it enhances the software’s features and any more changes for the betterment of the software.

Software maintenance creates a considerable impact on the growth of your software. We have this article containing the following information you need to know:

What is Software Maintenance

To start, let us discuss what software maintenance is as a software development phase. We mentioned earlier that maintenance is part of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). As soon as the program goes live in the market, it automatically enters the maintenance phase. In this phase, the software developers and testers constantly monitor the software for possible issues and bugs. Even after multiple tests and QA sessions, hidden glitches will surface. 

However, maintaining software is not all there is in the post-production process. Aside from ensuring the system is free from issues, make sure your software is scalable. Without updates and new features, your software may become outdated. Sure, your system is running smoothly, but there is a lot of similar software in the market with more enhanced features and capabilities. That is why you need to monitor and update your software constantly.

Why is Maintenance Important?

Now that we’ve answered what software maintenance is, let us find how this process can affect your business. Since maintenance is a part of post-production, why should business owners invest in maintaining and enhancing their software?

Bug fixing

Why is software maintenance required? Simple, to fix bugs once they occur. The main priority is to search out errors in the code and quickly correct them.  Who wants a mobile application that crashes every five minutes? Developers avoid these types of problems as much as possible and promptly resolve them when they occur. However, these fixes should not affect the rest of the functionalities of the software.

Client feedback

Where else can you identify improvements than in the feedback section? Users are the best data source for developers when it comes to issues and possible enhancements. Over time, clients will ask for new features or functions of your software. Remember that your software can be obsolete when it has nothing new to offer. Clients might scrap your software for better and more enhanced software in the market when that happens.

Market conditions

You should not only focus on technology trends when maintaining your software. You must also consider the changes in your market, mainly if your software targets a niche audience. Specific policies and constraints may arise along the way. If your software caters to a niche audience, these policies may ensue. An example is an investment and tax management application. Taxation changes over time; this triggers the need to modify the software for clients to continue using the application.

Modifications on the target host

When we say target host, we mean the platform or device where users might install the application. Almost every year, new computers and mobile devices are introduced in the market. Alongside the updates are system upgrades that can affect your software. That is why you need to make changes to ensure that your application is compatible with every operating system or hardware.

Remove outdated functions

When a function is of no use anymore due to system updates, you need to scrape them out of the software. Unwanted functionalities occupy space within the solution. This scenario can hurt the efficiency of your application. That is why you should remove old elements, and new tools and technologies must replace them. Software typically requires a lot of software reengineering.

Types of Software Maintenance

There are four types of maintenance in software engineering, and each type serves a different purpose.

Corrective software maintenance

Corrective maintenance is what you’ll see as the classic form of software maintenance.  Maintenance happens when there are faults and errors detected within the software. If these errors are not fixed, they can have a negative impact on the functionality and the whole software later on. Developers often identify these errors through reports coming from users. A maintenance team who can detect bugs before it reaches users is an added asset to the company.

Preventive maintenance

If corrective waits for issues to shoot up, preventive maintenance is the type you constantly look into in the future to keep your software running. Developers often make necessary changes, upgrades, and more. The team detects latent errors, but they are not simply ignored even if they are latent faults. Instead, these faults are cut as buds so they don’t turn into destructive faults.

Perfective software maintenance

You built a robust application, and all the tests came out excellent. No faults, latent or not, and issues currently detected. Then you launched in the market, and it was a huge success. Then, users voice out the need for new features for the software so it can be named the best tool. Perfective software maintenance is what you need.

Unlike the last two types, perfective maintenance aims to improve the application by adding the latest features and removing outdated functionalities that are not effective. These changes keep the software relatively new and relevant for users.

Adaptive maintenance

Adaptive maintenance has everything to do with your software changing technologies and policies—changes in the operating system, hardware, cloud storage, new technologies, and others. Your application needs to adapt seamlessly, hence the use of this maintenance type.

Software Maintenance Solutions with Full Scale

In summary, software maintenance occurs as a post-production process in the SDLC. It automatically ensues when the software is launched where it needs monitoring and enhancements. Maintenance is not something that businesses should ignore. Invest in maintaining your software to stay relevant to your existing users and attract new users.

Seeing that maintenance is not all about fixing bugs and issues, your software maintenance team should also be creative and knowledgeable in their field. You need curious minds that will contribute to the improvement of your software. A team that is dedicated to the growth of your product and, in turn, your company as well. They must have knowledge, experience, and passion for software development.

All these qualities are present in our team of developers at Full Scale. Our company houses developers who are screened, trained, and honed with experience. Talk to us. Schedule an appointment now!

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