Software Maintenance and Support: Types and Reasons

Software engineers must consistently nurture their product in order to improve its functioning, prevent degradation, meet the demands of customers, and maintain the product’s success. These objectives may be met by software maintenance.

Software maintenance is the process of altering and updating software to meet the needs of the client. Its goal is to fix the problem and enhance the performance of the program after it has been provided to the clients.

The lifespan of software development includes software maintenance. Many businesses are adopting DevOps ideas and methods. These concepts need a move to the left, with testing performed early in the development cycle to discover and react to issues as soon as feasible. Even when software is published, however, it is not a matter of “launch and forget.” Most companies use software maintenance and support services.

There are four categories of software maintenance tasks:

Maintenance of Corrective Software

Defects in software occur as a result of defects and flaws in the program’s design, logic, and code. Corrective maintenance (sometimes known as “bug fixing”) fixes these problems and flaws in your software system.

Corrective software updates are necessary when:

  • Software is not performing as planned owing to a variety of critical flaws, including improper logic flow, poor implementation, invalid or insufficient testing, and so on.
  • After you have published the program, the bugs in it are hurting users.

Adaptive Software 

The goal of adaptive maintenance is to update and alter software when:

  • The platform on which your program runs is evolving (due to technology, laws, policies, rules, operating system, etc.)
  • Customers need the product to work with new hardware or software.
  • You anticipated software flaws that would damage your consumers in the future.

Excellent Software Maintenance

When you execute perfective software maintenance, you upgrade the software system to increase its value in response to user needs.

The following are some significant elements concerning Perfective software maintenance:

  • It entails improving software functioning by incorporating new or altered user needs (even when the changes are not considered a defect, error or fault).
  • Customer input is often, but not always, the catalyst.
  • It accounts for half of all maintenance efforts.
  • Modifying an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) program to integrate a new payment settlement capability in a software system is an example of perfective maintenance.

Preventive Software Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is a software update made to avoid future faults from occurring. It improves program maintainability by lowering complexity. Among the preventive maintenance tasks are:

  • Updating the documentation: Bringing the documentation up to date with the current condition of the system.
  • Modifying the code to allow for speedier program execution or to make better use of storage space.
  • Reconstructing the code: Changing the program’s structure by reducing the source code and making it more understandable.

Here are a few instances of how a software system might lose its value:

  1. Because Google changes its authentication system, a website that certifies legitimate users using Google login ceases to function.
  2. When a rival introduces a superior messaging program, an instant messaging application becomes outdated.
  3. A company’s sales and order management software isn’t operating correctly since the appropriate hardware is out of date.
  4. A program must be integrated with new interfaces.
  5. Software maintenance is required to cope with these evolving technology and business contexts.

Why is software maintenance required?

  1. To repair the software system’s faults and problems.
  2. To enhance the software’s capabilities in order to make your product more suitable for today’s marketing and commercial settings.
  3. To eliminate obsolete functionalities from your program that are impeding product efficiency.
  4. To boost the performance of your program.

Strategies for software maintenance

Every software company should have a particular plan in place to deal with software maintenance in an efficient and comprehensive way.

One essential approach in software development is documentation. Upgrading software might be difficult if the documentation is out of the current. The documentation should contain information about how the code works, possible difficulties, and so on.

A software maintenance strategy must also include quality assurance (QA). While QA is essential prior to the first release of the software, it may also be implemented far earlier in the process (as early as the planning stage) to ensure that the product is designed appropriately and to provide insight into making modifications as needed.

Nathaniel Villa
Nathaniel Villa