Legacy Issues: Top 5 Challenges to Legacy Integration

Legacy Issues Explained

? While some languages fall out of style in 10 years or less, some computer languages are set to be with us until computing as we know it totally changes. In the meantime, we’re set to be working with legacy integration at every level of computer programming. Even the most cutting-edge developer with a handle on every language can struggle with legacy issues.

While legacy issue might seem like they might just go away if you ignore them, you could be ignoring millions of valuable customers. If you want customers to have faith in your later releases, you need to show them support for longer than you might like to. If you’ve got a high percentage of users dependent on an old legacy release of your software, you have to keep fixing bugs until you’re blue in the face. To make your legacy issues easy to deal with, tackle these 5 challenges.

1. Depreciated Languages
You might hear groaning from your developers if they have to wrestle with older depreciated languages while dealing with your legacy code. This can be a struggle for a newer team who has inherited lots of legacy products.
The people who you rely on to handle these languages might not even be with your company anymore. If you can’t find a solution within your team, you might have to hire a contractor or otherwise outsource this project to another team.

2. Dependencies
Dependencies come and go with the seasons. Even if your code has strong libraries that it’s connected to, those libraries might have to be updated from time to time. The updates might not jive with your old code, which will lead to a cycle of testing you might not have anticipated. Make sure you have a robust testing server on hand to hook your team into when it’s time to take on this code. Use a tool that allows you to backtrack as well because once legacy system migration starts, you could run into lots of issues.

3. No Comment
Poorly-commented code is a nightmare when dealing with legacy issues. Your old code could be giving your team a headache if it’s got them jumping all around and loosely throwing around variables. Comments tell your developers where they’ve been and where to go next. Without comments, they’re basically bobbing for apples in the dark.

4. Team Stubbornness

3Si2 Legacy Issues and Solutions

Some teams just plain don’t want to work on legacy products. While you can kick and scream and make demands, they might drag their feet while your customers are waiting for important bug fixes. Help to motivate your team by not giving them everything at once and don’t demand that they work on legacy products when it’s clear they don’t want to.

5. Old Tools
You simply might not have the tools you need around for the job. If you need older hardware and software, you might have to work in a virtual environment. This isn’t an ideal situation for most developers, so be aware of what your team is comfortable with before you hand them a tool they don’t understand.

Legacy Issues Can Be Overcome

Legacy code is an issue for every software company under the sun. Once a product is released out into the world, we have little control over how people use it. Sometimes we don’t realize there are problems until we hear back from customers, even years later. And if we want to keep those customers, we have to address their issues.
If you’re ready to solve the legacy issues surrounding your code, contact us for more tips today.

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