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Software maintenance: case studies 

Andrew Radcliffe

Co-founder and CEO of Spyrosoft Ltd.

After previous articles about 2020 maintenance strategies and their importance in the crisis, today we’re bringing you a showcase of how it works in practice. We’d like to tell you about the type of products and services we develop in more detail. 

It’s worth mentioning that software maintenance activities can range from reviewing and restructuring project documentation and hosting through to infrastructure audits and maintenance support and fixes. 

Software infrastructure audit and updates 

Our customer is one of the biggest software providers working within the retail industry. Their unique solution simplifies in-store and category management processes as well as loss prevention by using a personal digital assistant (PDA). The device automatically scans items and is already widely adopted, serving convenience as well as larger stores. The company has also been working on developing an appliance for new categories (entertainment and computer games) as well as other industries. 

What has Spyrosoft’s role been in the project?  

We’ve completed several software maintenance tasks covering documentation and infrastructure for this project. 

We had to work with legacy code, and this necessitated the creation of new architecture and documentation. The initial scope of our work was focussed on defining which elements of the solution are functioning and how, what are the possible security threats, and how to take this project further. The biggest challenge for the client was that in that state, it was impossible to handle the required load level.  

Spyrosoft’s team has not only been able to take on the challenge but they have also gone above and beyond the project requirements. Our initial audit revealed areas requiring improvement followed by hand-in-hand planning of the new architecture. When we started working on the solution, there were no unit or integration tests. The existing test environment as well as both continuous integration and deployment were not reliable.  

The very first task was to organise the code and provide the documentation. It gave us the foundation for listing the most urgent fixes. During the last six months, we have been able to provide a development environment while monitoring the continuous integration and deployment. We have also set up a new test environment. 

The next stage was to improve the solution’s performance without adding new hardware and making maintenance as easy as possible. We focused on combining all common purpose applications and splitting the biggest monoliths into microservices. In all newly created applications, we use .NET Core and the latest .NET framework while maintaining the old ones. This way, we can provide the necessary technical assistance to our client’s team.  

Regarding further development, we are constantly in the process of identifying new opportunities as the scope and the requirements of the project are changing. Our goal for now is to provide solutions that will help the Client Support Team and the warehouse employees. We have also been proactive in preparing integrations and automated UI tests, wherever possible.  

For the Support Dashboard application, which will be the hub between all the others, we use Blazor as a UI Framework. The technology is a new addition to the .NET family, and  its first implementation has been at Spyrosoft 

Mobile applications’ development and maintenance 

One of our clients is a well-known British institutionThey have been successfully operating as a company since the 1790’s. They wanted to  stay relevant in the digital era, all while achieving their ambitious growth milestones. 

They also had a broader goal in mind. According to the research conducted by Sport England, 20 million people in the UK want to engage in more outside activities – all they need is encouragement to do so. Our client’s team wanted to turn this encouragement into their core mission for the next 5 years. One of the  themes supporting this new direction was obesity trends for the UK with staggering decreasing activity rates for children between 7-15 followed by almost all adult groups.  

That’s why the team wanted to address these issues by developing a set of digital tools that would simply allow more people to get outside. Here’s where  Spyrosoft’s team comes into play as  technical support and partner. 

Our 30+ team of engineers: developers, QA specialists, UX/UI designers, Business Analysts and Project Managers carry out hosting and continuous development for the set of tools. They’ve been also tasked with taking care of maintenance and support works for various products (backend platform, web and mobile applications) in close collaboration with the client’s teamCurrently, our team has cross-functional competency and can move between projects when needed.  

The core of the project has been hosting and development of the applications. As for the maintenance tasks, our engineers provide 2nd line maintenance support on weekdays between 8 AM - 8 PM UK time. Standby services are done on 24h basis and completed whenever necessary. 

Over to you 

Whether you need an external software maintenance team or simply want to know where to start, we’ll be able to help. Check out our previous posts about software maintenance strategies and its advantages for more information.