Legacy systems are critical business components
Developers must take care of the smallest details – their focus is on the very sourcecode level.
They are responsible for the direct dependencies too – it's hard to elaborate possible consequences of changes in the code.
They are responsible for the further surroundings too – it's going extremely time consuming!
The required view of the relationships and dependencies of the whole – often impossible!
By legacy systems we mean individually developed software systems that comprehensively support a company's business processes and usually have a monolithic software architecture.
Law of increasing complexity
Operational software systems are never static, but they are constantly further developed. This is accompanied by increasing complexity, unless efforts are made to maintain or reduce it. In practice, however, "refactoring" is only carried out in very rare cases as a permanent process.
Lack of refactoring
By refactoring we mean improving the structure of a software system while the behavior of the software remains the same. Refactoring has the goal of improving and maintaining maintainability and comprehensibility in particular. As already mentioned, in practice refactoring only in extremely rare cases can be observed as a permanent process. Individual "refactoring" that are tried once every five or ten years, for example, are ineffective.
Accumulation of technical debt
Due to increasing complexity and a lack of refactoring, debts are constantly increasing, and interest is being paid in form of rising costs and duration for extensions or adjustments. Technical debts are also observable due to missing or not up-to-date documentation, implicit knowledge in the minds of the developers or passed on by "oral tradition", code repetitions, missing or incomplete coding guidelines as well as very high coupling in the source code (therefor little changes in the source code can have system wide consequences).
Support for digitisation
Legacy systems were created decades ago without any chance of anticipating the requirements of todays "digitization".
Increase in Manpower - junior staff
The original developers are often no longer available in the company or will soon leave the company (due to retirement). Young professionals are not available on the market and this is aggravated by the fact that legacy technologies have not been teaching for years in education. The training effort for new employees is enormously time-consuming and ties up resources that are urgently needed elsewhere.
IT management restricted in scope of action
IT management's room for manoeuvre is limited in two ways: on the one hand, significant budget resources are tied up by maintenance costs and, on the other hand, new, future-oriented requirements cannot be implemented immediately.
How does AVESOR® help in this situation?
AVESOR® helps in this situation with a Virtual Reality Model, which is created from the respective source code (Cobol, RPG or PL/1) and loaded into a virtual reality model. Employees no longer need to sift through the source code to find out the structural dependencies and cause-effect relationships of the legacy system, but can do this using the hardware supplied (Oculus Go VR glasses incl. controller).