Software maintenance is a crucial part of the software development cycle.

It isn’t something that businesses can skip or avoid.

Refactored is important for the success of your apps or software, and any evolution of your business.

Your software needs different types of maintenance refactored to keep up with trends and running, to rework the system for future changes, to enhance features, to move to the cloud, and to implement any important milestone.

Far more than error-fixing or interface changes, there are different types of software maintenance that serve a great purpose in improving the efficiency of software.

Some of these changes can appear only in the backend, while others may be noticeable in the front-end as well. At large, each of these categories has a varying effect on your user experience.

This article will explore the different types of software maintenance and review their importance for software success.

Let’s get the ball rolling.

What is Software Maintenance?

Software maintenance is a very vast activity that takes place once the software development is done and launched in the market. The maintenance is done to optimize the software by eliminating useless features, reducing error possibility, and applying advanced development.

Ideally, software development takes about one to two years, but software maintenance is an ongoing activity that can last as long as ten to twenty years.

Why Does Software Require Maintenance?

The one-word answer to this question would be ‘perfection.’ Software maintenance is necessary for your organization if you want your software to be perfect in terms of technology, trend, user experience, policies, and law. Let’s get into more details:

1. Bug Fixing: When it comes to the seamless functionality of the software, bug fixing comes at priority. This process contains searching out for causes of errors and then fixing them. The issue can be associated with the operating system, hardware, or a part of the software.

At large, bug fixing is done to ensure better performance and it doesn’t hurt other functionalities of the software.

2. Software Capability Enhancement: It comprises making improvements in functions and features to ensure its compatibility with the different market environments. It increases software’s work patterns, compilers, and hardware upgrades as well.

3. Performance Improvement: Your software needs maintenance to improve system performance and resolve detected issues. Re-engineering some parts of software means that you’ll be able to prevent it from vulnerabilities that may become problematic for your business.

Type of Software Maintenance

Source: sunnet.us

Essentially, there are four types of software maintenance:

  • Corrective Software Maintenance
  • Adaptive Software Maintenance
  • Perfective Software Maintenance
  • Preventive Software Maintenance

1. Corrective Software Maintenance

Errors or bugs in software arise because of faults in the logic, code, or design of the software. Corrective software maintenance often referred to as bug-fixing, is mainly done to resolve these faults in a software system.

Corrective maintenance is done when the software is not functioning properly because of some acute issues like incorrect implementation, faulty logic flow, and invalid tests. Similarly, it can be used for resolving issues in a system that are negatively affecting user experience.

Developers who conduct corrective software maintenance often do the following:

  • Develop better-quality codes
  • Adopt a robust testing practice to find causes behind bugs
  • Enhance the ability to detect problems
  • Ensure correct implementation of design specifications

Usually, bugs in software are reported by users or shared as feedback. After getting notified about the bug, the software developer and product tester review the design, code, and logic to make corrective changes. The main objective at this step is to improve the software by eliminating the bug.

2. Adaptive Software Maintenance

Since the technology environment has been changing constantly, there’s a very frequent chance for software technology or the environment to become outdated. Furthermore, the software is very susceptible to cybersecurity threats, new laws, and policies.

All of these problems can be addressed by adaptive software maintenance. The adaptive changes in software mainly focus on the infrastructure of software. They are done in response to new hardware, new platforms, new operating systems, or simply to keep the program updated.

Furthermore, these types of changes tend to have a lesser impact on the users because they deal with the internal aspects of the software. Users might only notice the improvement speed or scalability of the tool, but overall, they remain unaffected.

Adaptive maintenance is done to modify and update the software:

  • Developers have already predicted defects in a tool that will affect their customers in the future
  • Customers required the product to interface with a new feature or software
  • The platform where your software is deployed is changing because of the operating system, technology, policies, rules, and laws.

3. Perfective Software Maintenance

The perfective software maintenance category is also vast. It addresses the usability and functionality of the software and involves changing the existing product functionality by deleting, refining, and adding new features.

Perfective software maintenance can also change the way a product works and looks. Hence, any user interface redesigns, tweak, and in-app user journey, and similar changes fall under this maintenance category.

This involves making improvements in the functionality of the software by implementing better user requirements (even if there is no apparent defect, fault, or error). This type of software maintenance is often initiated after receiving customer feedback.

Under this type of maintenance, an effort is made to update the software system to enhance its value as per the user demand. This includes:

  • Making improvements in user interfaces
  • Enhancements of software functionality
  • Improvement in software performance
  • Speed optimization
  • Improvement in software usability

Perfective changes are highly noticeable too because the developer makes a lot of changes to ensure perfection. Users will not notice the refactored back-end codes, but they’ll experience visible up-front changes.

Example of perfective software maintenance:

  • Modifying the enterprise resource planning program to add the new payment method
  • Eliminating unnecessary graphic elements to ensure seamless user experience

4. Preventive Software Maintenance

Known as one of the most popular categories, preventive software maintenance refers to software changes that are carried out to future-proof a product in advance. In simple words, the software maintenance changes prepare software for any potential changes ahead.

There are the changes software developers make to prevent any error that might cause problems for the app users. Some of the most basic tasks of preventive software maintenance include updating the product documentation as per the current state of the system and transforming the program structure to make it easily understandable.

Your users are very unlikely to notice these changes because all the work is done in the back end. But they might still feel a positive effect later on. It is so because this type of software maintenance ensures the smoother implementation of major changes.

Examples of preventive software maintenance:

  • Making efficient use of storage space
  • Changing the code for faster execution

Final thoughts

As long as your software is being used by end-users, it’s never really completed. Thanks to the ever-changing technology landscape, the software today needs constant maintenance to keep up with the advancements.

Thus, as a product owner, you should focus on enhancing your software in a manner it evolves alongside new technologies, trends, and business goals.