Implementing Proper Application Maintenance Practices

Rob Stringer and David Hardy

In the software landscape, creating a high quality application for your business is only the beginning of the journey. As technology changes and improves, the functionality of your application will often become obsolete and vulnerable to security threats. This is why consistent and proper maintenance is essential. Managing dependencies, ensuring uptime, patching security vulnerabilities, and fixing business critical bugs are all key elements of a well implemented application maintenance schedule.

As developers at Rietta, we are tasked with implementing practices that allow us to efficiently maintain client codebases. Proper maintenance helps ensure application quality, security and longevity moving forward. There are core components of a properly implemented maintenance program, some of which are comprehensive testing, containerization, and bug fixing.

The foundation of application maintenance starts with comprehensive testing. In addition to ensuring functionality, a well tested application makes it easier to implement software upgrades, additional features, and tracing bug fixes. All of this saves a great deal of time, effort, and cuts down on technical debt. Once quality testing is implemented, the process can be automated and implemented in conjunction with continuous integration, ensuring that changes moving forward have been thoroughly vetted before entering production.

Another key area of focus is Containerization of applications using Docker. Containerization has a variety of benefits that affect ROI. Containers are replicable, easier to maintain, and allow for fast configuration. Their built in features and ease of use help cut down on infrastructure resources and simplify every factor throughout the SDLC. Creating a modular system for passing around your software allows for less time managing configurations across various machines. The saved time can instead be focused on value generating areas. By using orchestration tools like Docker Compose, we are able to efficiently package services like databases and workers across machines. We can even help move your infrastructure to the cloud, and other operational challenges.

Older applications often show their age in an ever modernizing digital landscape. Poor user experiences can be very costly in terms of lost potential revenue, and can result from a wide variety of oversights. We regularly review our applications for UX and performance issues. These can be both design improvements, and performance enhancements. We want your users to keep coming back, while your application continues paying dividends.

At Rietta, we take security seriously, and maintenance applications are no exception. Software at Rietta is regularly scanned for vulnerabilities, and dependencies are constantly updated and managed. We make sure that both known and unknown exploits are taken in to consideration, and believe strongly in ensuring rigorous code security standards. Rietta developers are constantly learning of newly emerging security threats, and staying up to date with new tools and resources.

Lastly, an extremely critical area covered by application maintenance is bug fixes. Some times problems arise that immediately impact business by hindering functionality. With a Rietta maintenance plan, you have talented developers readily available to mitigate issues as they arise. These issues can come as a result of tech debt, or other problems intrinsic to old applications. Wherever the problem stems from, our maintenance team is adept and can deliver in critical times. We enjoy this responsibility, and sometimes it sparks our greatest creativity.

We appreciate the art of application maintenance at Rietta, and would love to help keep your software running and generating value for the long term.