Software maintenance comprises of activities that help in the optimization of software systems. It entails working to improve the performance of software and getting rid of design errors. This improves the productivity level of software if already in use.
The maintenance process involves monitoring, evaluation of software capability, modification of existing functionalities, and the definition of new features to make required or desirable improvements.
The graphic below outlines the basic types of software maintenance.
Adaptive maintenance is prevalent when there is a change to a particular feature in the software. Adaptive maintenance is applied to the software to make every other part compatible with the new feature.
This may also be necessary for instances where there is a change in hardware, operating system or other needed tools for the operations of a particular software.
It is also witnessed where there are environmental changes, like changes in organizational operations or rules guiding business operations, or government regulations. These external influences can lead to adaptive maintenance.
Changes in technology trends can initiate adaptive maintenance as well. As the tech ecosystem is one of the current changes, there is a need for the application of adaptive maintenance to meet the global demands of software development and use.
Corrective maintenance in software arises in situations of development errors, like bugs, defects or flaws seen in software that is developed against the required software specifications. Corrective maintenance is a type that doesn’t take much time to implement because the software at this point has been developed completely only for the discovered faults.
Corrective maintenance is very important in software management as it helps improve user experience and satisfaction by fixing unnecessary bugs or flaws. It sometimes involves troubleshooting and adjustments in response to software failures.
Corrective maintenance’s goal is fault discovery, to restore the software to meet its production expectations. Corrective maintenance is necessary to reinstate the operation of a software fully.
Most corrective maintenance is not capital intensive and could be done with minimal resources.
Preventive maintenance involves preventive plans made to avoid software breakdown. It is normally done for future purposes.
It may involve finding and fixing little bugs in the software before they become serious or disrupt operation in the future. It can be done while the software is still used for daily work as a behind-the-scenes action.
Most of the time, software users don’t notice changes done through preventive maintenance, even though it appears beneficial to them in the long run. Preventive maintenance is ideal to avoid downtime on software.
In some software, preventive maintenance could involve documentation, while in others it could involve updates or code optimization. These actions all help prevent sudden breakdown of the software.
Perfective maintenance is needed when the needs of users increases. Perfective maintenance is also needed when the software needs certain upgrades to fit into the original plan prior to its development.
This maintenance tends to improve system performance and efficiency; it enhances the system capability. It refines and defines new functionalities, adds new features to the software, and the changes are noticeable to the users.
Most perfective maintenances are carried out after the users have been informed, as it could lead to temporary shutdown of a software that is already in use. At the end of the day, this maintenance helps improve the user experience of the software.
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