With the ever-going technology requirements, it has been important to focus on software product maintenance apart from following the software development life cycle (SDLC) process. To state simply, software product maintenance is whatever follows after the first release, whether it’s fixing a minor bug issue or adding a new feature. There are various reasons as why the software maintenance would be required:
Customer/client requirements: Over the time of the product existence, the customer/client would require a new update or new features to be added.
Market requirement: There is timely introduction of new policies or constraints in the market. This may lead to modifications in the product.
Organization requirement: Any business level change happening or expansion taking place, would require the software product to update.
Host requirement: If there are any changes made in the hardware requirements of the software product or if the Operating System (OS) has been changed, it would require product changes as well.
Software product maintenance types
During the course of software product, the kind of the maintenance required will depend on the nature of the product. Often, it would be a routine maintenance, or fixing a bug, or adding new features which be a lengthier process. Following are the some of the common software maintenance types:
Preventive: Focusing on the issues now to avoid software issues in the future is what preventive maintenance does. This maintenance process is not serious, and involves updates and notifications for any changes happening on the front-end.
Adaptive: True to its name, this maintenance process constantly tracks the updates and applies it to the product and keeps it attuned to the every changing technology.
Corrective: Software problems that are highlighted in the error report or pointed out by the user. Corrective maintenance is performed for fixing or correcting an issue.
Perfective: This is considered as one of the best maintenance types as it maintains the software constantly and makes it usable for a longer duration. Every new software requirement, feature, and refinement is performed throughout the software lifecycle to improve the overall performance of the software product.
The maintenance process of the product follows only once the customer/client has used the product. In spite of all the cautious efforts in the development and testing phase, it is likely that post usage, there would be a few things that would not match the customer/client requirement. This means that changes need to be done to enhance the product followed with changes in the maintenance process.
One of the integral part of software product maintenance is planning the entire process. The maintenance planning should list the possible modifications, budget and resource estimates. If not planned well, the software product maintenance can last for over 3 years. Therefore, it is necessary to address the maintenance scope, the complete deployment process, and the costs involved for maintenance.
Software product maintenance can be a daunting task if not planned well. Right from the first step of software engineering, have definite goals set to make the entire process easier.