App refactoring, i.e. the process of rewriting a given app’s component(s), has gained immense traction lately, especially ever since public cloud services emerged on the scene. It is useful for extending the life of the application while improving the performance, removing technical debt, strengthening security, or adding support for newer cloud based services and infrastructure. This helps expand the application’s capabilities for delivery, performance, time to market and on-going costs.
The development teams often take the application refactoring approach to increase the code modularity while making the code easier to read, update, and maintain. These code modules become available for use, either directly incorporated or as part of a cloud-native application that utilizes microservices and APIs to stitch together multiple modules.
This is not without reason, of course; app refactoring brings forth a world of benefits, including:
- Better performance: One of the most sought-after benefits of app refactoring is the enhanced performance and overall execution speed for different app functions.
- Support new technologies: Another notable benefit one gains with app refactoring is the support for newer technologies that may not have been available at the time of the app’s initial development process.
- Improved consistency: A critical and rather popular benefit that app refactoring brings to the table is the high level of consistency it ensures for the code while also doing away with substandard coding methods such as spaghetti code which renders modifications unnecessarily challenging.
- Improved delivery: A benefit of improving the architecture and underlying infrastructure technology that supports applications, is the ability to leverage more modern processes and tools for the delivery of applications, such as CI/CD pipelines and technologies such as containers - ultimately making delivery faster, more reliable and measurable.
- Improved security posture: Tackling legacy dependencies or those that are aging and therefore contain technical debt allows for the stripping of security vulnerabilities often found in either end-of-life Operating Systems or app components themselves.
While app refactoring offers plenty of benefits, it is also important to understand its limitations, such as the ones listed below:
- Learning curve: A key challenge companies must contend with when it comes to app refactoring is the steep learning curve involved. This can translate into delays, coding errors, etc. as the team wraps its head around the new platforms, tools, programming languages, etc.
- Scope issues: Often, teams may find themselves struggling with scope; i.e. despite the most in-depth plans, it's common place for refactoring and modernization projects to extend beyond the intended scope, thus resulting in delays, greater costs and, in some cases, apps being de-scoped.
- App dependencies: Yet another crucial issue you can face in this context is unknown app dependencies which can crop up during the refactoring process. Be warned that such dependencies can prolong work or even cause the project to fail to deliver its objective. With unknowns there is great risk, so a must have is the ability to comprehensively understand, discover and analyse app dependencies, internally and externally.
Finally, let us also see when you should opt for app refactoring:
- To fix design problems: One of the primary reasons why you should opt for app refactoring is for addressing design-related issues. You see, app refactoring is instrumental in fixing design, and implementation problems, a.k.a. code inefficiencies, dead code, including complex code segments, redundancy, etc.
- To ensure consistency of code: If you want to achieve code consistency, look no further than app refactoring which helps achieve said consistency in myriad ways, including leveraging reusable code segments and external APIs, and standardization of variable naming conventions, etc.
- Clean up code: While app refactoring is great for new and enhanced functionality and features, it can also contribute immense value if you are looking to ensure a cleaner code for your app and make the code efficient and easier to change. All in all, if you want better-performing code, app refactoring is a good way to go about it.
- Leverage the latest cloud-native technologies: Older apps were developed in a point in time, even if they followed best practice in terms of design, they inevitably become incompatible and unable to be applied to the latest technology, both from a framework and infrastructure prospective. To continue to improve the application across all pillars of operation, compliance and performance, adopting the latest cloud compute services ensures your applications and supporting business services continue to deliver the value thats required.
There you have it , a very quick but handy guide about app refactoring. As you can see, the process delivers several crucial benefits for any app development project, rendering it a must if you are looking to build a high-quality solution for your business. So, if you too are looking to enhance the readability of your app’s code, leverage native cloud services, etc., you now need to start working on putting together a robust And if you need help, you can always engage us here and make use of our productised solution that disrupts the status quo of manual services.
AppFactor is for architects and engineers who need to reduce technical debt across their application estate and apply the latest technologies to improve reliability, performance, deployment, reduce costs and prevent security issues. The AppFactor provides an enterprises focused SaaS platform that automatically and intelligently converts legacy applications away from existing virtual and physical infrastructure to cloud-native technology. Unlike traditional consultative processes that are manual at each step, lack repeatability and predictability, take too long and cost too much, our product - AppFactor is a continuous, intelligent, AI powered transformation platform to empower architects and engineers to re-factor and re-architect applications to solve legacy infrastructure problems, cut technical debt and dramatically improve application delivery at an accelerated speed and a fraction of the cost.