Building Quality in Legacy Software Systems

There are many factors to consider when trying to build quality into a legacy software system. First, it is important to understand the existing code base and architecture. This will help ensure that new code is integrated properly and does not introduce any new technical debt. Second, any dependencies on third-party software should be carefully evaluated to ensure that they are still supported and will not introduce any new risks. Finally, it is important to have a robust suite of automated tests in place that can be run regularly to catch any regressions.

What is a legacy software system? 

A legacy software system is any software system that is no longer actively maintained or supported. Legacy systems can be either end-of-life (EOL) or orphaned. EOL systems are those for which the vendor has announced an official end-of-life date, after which they will no longer provide security updates or support. Orphaned systems are those for which the original vendor is no longer in business or cannot be reached for support. 

Both EOL and orphaned systems can pose significant risks to organizations, as they may contain numerous security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers. Additionally, these systems may not be compatible with newer versions of dependencies or operating systems, making it difficult or impossible to keep them running.

Managing legacy software systems 

There are a number of best practices that can be followed when trying to manage a legacy software system: 

  1. Understand the system: It is important to have a good understanding of the system before making any changes. This will help ensure that new changes are properly planned and executed. 
  2. Document the system: Proper documentation can be essential for understanding the code base and architecture. It can also help when trying to make changes or troubleshoot issues. 
  3. Have a plan for changes: Any changes that are made to a legacy system should be carefully planned in order to avoid introducing new risks. 
  4. Use automation: Automation can help to reduce the amount of manual work that is required when making changes. It can also help to ensure that changes are properly tested before being deployed. 
  5. Use version control: Version control can be used to track and manage changes to the code base. This can help to ensure that changes are made correctly and that regressions are avoided. 
  6. Implement security controls: Proper security controls, such as input validation and output encoding, should be implemented in order to help prevent injection attacks. 
  7. Use a legacy software maintenance service: There are a number of companies that offer legacy software support services. These services can provide organizations with access to security updates and support, even for EOL or orphaned systems. 

When trying to build quality into a legacy software system, it is important to understand the challenges that can be faced and to follow best practices. This will help to ensure that changes are made correctly and that new risks are not introduced.

    Is it expensive?

    The cost of legacy software support can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the size of the system, the complexity of the code base, and the level of support that is required. In general, however, it can be more expensive to support a legacy system than it would be to maintain a modern system. This is due to the fact that legacy systems often require more manual work and may have dependencies on outdated or unsupported software. As a result, it is important to carefully consider the costs and benefits of supporting a legacy system before making any decisions. Contact us for best website development and software development services.


    Legacy software systems can introduce a number of risks and challenges. However, by understanding the risks and following best practices, it is possible to build quality into these systems. This will help to ensure that they are properly maintained and supported over time.