The life of your software does not begin when coding starts and end with the launch. Instead, it has an ongoing lifecycle that stops and starts whenever necessary. The start of its lifecycle and a good portion of the work begins at launch.
Software is always changing and as long as it is being used, it has to be monitored and maintained properly. This is partly to adjust for the changes within an organization but is even more important because technology keeps changing.
Your software may need maintenance for any number of reasons – to keep it up and running, to enhance features, to rework the system for changes into the future, to move to the Cloud, or any other changes. Whatever the motivation is for software maintenance, it is vital for the success of your business. As such, software maintenance is more than simply finding and fixing bugs. It is keeping the heart of your business up and running.
There are four types of software maintenance:
Corrective software maintenance is what one would typically associate with the maintenance of any kind. Correct software maintenance addresses the errors and faults within software applications that could impact various parts of your software, including the design, logic, and code. These corrections usually come from bug reports that were created by users or customers – but corrective software maintenance can help to spot them before your customers do, which can help your brand’s reputation.
Adaptive software maintenance becomes important when the environment of your software changes. This can be brought on by changes to the operating system, hardware, software dependencies, Cloud storage, or even changes within the operating system. Sometimes, adaptive software maintenance reflects organizational policies or rules as well. Updating services, making modifications to vendors, or changing payment processors can all necessitate adaptive software maintenance.
Perfective software maintenance focuses on the evolution of requirements and features that existing in your system. As users interact with your applications, they may notice things that you did not or suggest new features that they would like as part of the software, which could become future projects or enhancements. Perfective software maintenance takes over some of the work, both adding features that can enhance user experience and removing features that are not effective and functional. This can include features that are not used or those that do not help you to meet your end goals.
Preventative Software Maintenance helps to make changes and adaptations to your software so that it can work for a longer period of time. The focus of the type of maintenance is to prevent the deterioration of your software as it continues to adapt and change. These services can include optimizing code and updating documentation as needed.
Preventative software maintenance helps to reduce the risk associated with operating software for a long time, helping it to become more stable, understandable, and maintainable.
For all businesses and organizations, software maintenance is an essential part of the software development lifecycle. This isn’t something that one can skip or avoid. It is absolutely necessary for the success of your software and any evolution into the future. It is important to know that maintenance needs to go much further than fixing issues or bugs – that is only one steps of the software maintenance process.
Updating software environments, reducing deterioration, and enhancing what is already there to help satisfy the needs of all users are also included in the software maintenance examples.
For more information, see our eBook 20 Software Engineering Goals for the Digital Economy.