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When to Redesign the Software from Scratch

Recently Apple has rendered a decision to redesign the Maps app from scratch. The experts enlighten the underlying reasons for this move: Apple is painfully lagging behind Google Maps and the gap between two startups is insuperable. This example pointedly demonstrates Google’s innovative superiority represented by combining various sets of data and, as a result, entirely new level of data arrangement.

That’s why Apple has carried out a resolution to remodel a bedrock application in its mobile environment. This decision had a tough ride before it had come to light. Due to this precise reason, it is worthwhile to answer a fundamental question whether it is better to leave the unfunctional software product as it is or it is necessary to rebuild it implying all accompanying expenditures of company’s resources comprising budget, manpower and time.

Indeed, Apple has huge reserves of resources to allocate, therefore, it got the long end of the stick in this situation: it can afford to preserve a current version of Apple Maps on the market along with new application development that took about four years to be produced. The truth is that many other vendors consider maintaining two editions of the same application in parallel to be a wastefulness since it is hard even to keep only one product on the summit of innovative excellence by matching the most exacting requirements of consumers and avoiding technical debt.

For the majority of vendors, it is highly unlikely to be a correct resolution to redesign the application from the ground top. If rebuilding the software product can’t be afforded by the business, it is recommended to focus on searching new technology which will reinforce the application and give it a new lease of life.

Besides the extra costs that will be consumed by a rebuilding project, there is one more problem you may face: new software product is supposed to take plenty of time, for instance, if Apple being loaded with enormous budget and large staff spent four years for Apple Maps redesign, your remaking is likely to take even more time. When you finally release the rebuilt application, the market landscape may dramatically change and your product will be unable to keep abreast of the times. A cautionary example is provided by Netscape which overindulged rebuilding process and, as a result, allowed Microsoft’s Internet Explorer to take the lead. Even despite the fact that Microsoft applied the unfair practice of packing Windows with Internet Explorer, it can hardly be considered as a justification of Netscape’s failure if it kept the strong market position, it would be able to struggle in future anyway.

One more thing you have to keep in mind is that new software is not entirely impeccable. Therefore, you may need to allocate additional funds and manpower for solid testing in order to prevent similar failures that happened to the previous version of the application.

Choosing Prophylaxes over Correction

Since rebuilding is pricey and time-consuming it would be better to avoid such situations in the first place. There are lots of factors that have to be taken into account in order to prevent software failures that can’t be fixed: from a thorough analysis of the application concepts selected into production to timely testing by using the most advanced digital tools. Yet, the exhaustive list of possible approaches and strategies on how to prevent failure occurrence can be narrowed down to several crucial paradigms:

  • Employment of the experienced developers is a big deal. If the developers produce the blue-chip application, it can be modified and improved easily in the future. In other words, it is necessary to consider the software product more as a continued service that has to be transformed and supplemented with new features in perspective. That’s why it is worthwhile to employ developers with a practiced eye to predict possible failures and, thus, to eliminate the possible causes of a problem at the first set-out.
  • Applying new techs allows avoiding full-scale redesign. According to this approach, Application Programming Interfaces are used for novel front-end solutions and software products based on the upside of the legacy ecosystem. This approach is deployed by multiple banks to keep abreast with the FinTech businesses: instead of rebuilding the apps from ground up they are providing the access to the systems by using APIs and produce new solutions in collaboration with other vendors. Being equipped with affordable techs such as MuleSoft, you are able to add new features and functions to the previous versions of software products by using APIs.
  • Code rewriting mitigates risks when software enhancement. Code refactoring allows the developers to contribute to the upgrading of the code and the applications but at the same time, it facilitates exclusion of the necessity of full-scale rebuilding.
  • Focusing on ground-breaking techs development. Vast experience collected by the businesses and experts on software development industry accentuates on the importance of profound studies and practicing in the essential technologies. Otherwise speaking, it is recommended to analyze the tendencies observed, to spare neither trouble nor expense for effective architecture and to elaborate sustained resolutions at the right time of the product development process. If your venture is lacking knowledge in capstone technologies development, you are advised to collaborate with other vendors which were involved in such projects and are able to provide you with a tip on how to make decisions giving more options for product improvement in future.

Bring Yourself to Software Product Rebuilding

Ideally, you’d better avoid complete redesign of the product. Nevertheless, if the failure occurred to the product can’t be fixed and or the application is created beyond technical requirements, there might be no other choice than to remake it from the outset. It often happens to the startups which assign an extremely important role to the user interface which has to comply with changeable preferences of customers. In order to refurbish the app it will require to perform the full-featured transformation, for example, to change the framework from AngularJS to ReactJS or backward.

In the process of new version production, it might be necessary to maintain the previous version on the market too but this decision will be pricey. Therefore, when choosing this option, you have to be completely certain that this investment will be paid off or this move is inevitable and vital for your startup staying afloat.

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Indeed, any software product is expected to be improved someday but if the tech has left behind the product and there is a chasmic distance between them, probably, you’d better refuse from full-scale rebuilding. On the other hand, if the application still has perspectives and solid reserve of innovative potential, it can be reasonable to remake the code and to introduce required improvements.

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