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Software Application Maintenance
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The functional content of embedded type systems must be continually increased to maintain user satisfaction over their lifetime while its quality will appear to be declining unless they are rigorously maintained and adapted to operational environment changes. - From Lehman's laws of software evolution, 1974-1996
ISO/IEC 14764:2006, Software Engineering -- Software Life Cycle Processes – Maintenance states that ‘Software maintenance in software engineering is the modification of a software product after delivery to correct faults, improve performance or other attributes.’ It is not just carrying out superficial warranty period checks or fixing defects. In an intensive research program spanning two decades, entrepreneur Meir Lehman came to a simple one-line conclusion: Software application maintenance meant ensuring that the software was up to date, i.e., as technology advanced, software development kept advancing in parallel.
A more modern perspective is provided by a well known technician, Misty S. Bledsoe, writing for eHow.com. She believes that ‘Software maintenance involves enhancing applications for compliance with changing requirements and adapting a database to work with more than one type of operating system or to allow the application to work in a network environment.” She lists four best practices in software application maintenance:
Situation Assessment. The more prepared an information technology department is when assessing the current situation, the easier it will be to determine the path the software maintenance will take.
End User Feedback. People using software applications on a day-to-day basis should provide their IT department a detailed feedback to allow them to assess what the software application needs to do to be more efficient, safer and more effective.
Flexibility. It is important to be flexible with a mindset that preliminary plans and estimates can and will change across the board during the maintenance process.
Quality Assurance. Track the maintenance plan for efficiency and revise it accordingly, always looking ahead to the completion date.
Software Application Maintenance provides optimal use of an expensive asset. It increases longevity, efficiency, more efficient use of system resources, minimizes system crashes by detecting and repairing corrupt files to keep all systems running smoothly. It also provides better security in all senses, namely, prevents data theft, whether personal or financial by unscrupulous web-bandits, applies upgrade patches to enhance performance as soon as they are released while its up to date anti-virus programs keep viruses at bay.
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