How to Select Right Tools for Legacy Application Transformation?

August 23, 2017 By: Prabhu Jha

As defined on, “a legacy application may be defined as any application on older technologies and hardware, like mainframes, that continues to provide core services to an organization. Legacy applications are frequently large, monolithic and difficult to modify, and scrap or replace a legacy application often means reengineering an organization’s business processes as well.”

Legacy transformation is significant for agile delivery approach. With the popularization of new technologies including Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC), organizations should strive to bring the most out of legacy tools. Selecting the right tools and methodologies for software development and testing is the first step to ensure that legacy application modernization turns out to be a low-risk and cost-effective way to maximize investment. So, here are the factors that are to be considered while choosing the right tools in an agile delivery approach.

  • Keep in mind the dynamic requirements: In an agile software application development approach, the nature of requirements is ever-changing. The testing tools should support test scripts at the level of different requirements and not just at the basic level of input-output combination.
  • Tool Compatibility: Assess if the tool works well in a various test environment. Evaluate the suitability of tools as per the different requirements which include environments and applications under test. Further, these tools should integrate well with the testing tools which are already being used.
  • Scalability of the Tool: These tools should handle large numbers of tests. Apart from using these tools to maintain the ongoing tests, it is important to ensure these are suitable for managing an increased volume of tests.
  • Usability and Simplicity: Look for tools which are easy to understand and use. Every user has a different level of technical expertise and the right tool should be easy to use for each user. Hence, it is better to choose simple yet efficient tools rather than those which require great learning curves. The difficulty in using tools not only takes way too much time but also leads to tool abandonment and a break in the entire process of legacy application transformation. Also, if the tools are too complicated to use, this may add to the cost of training on the part of the organization.
  • Maintenance and Vendor-Support: Change is the only factor constant in the agile delivery approach. The testing tools should handle the test updates. Hence, easy maintenance is important. Further, when you are learning to use the tool, you would need support from the vendor to learn about common issues which may arise and how to address those.
  • Check the Affordability of the Tool: Have a budget in place before deciding on the tools that you are going to use. Be aware that you may also need to spend on additional licenses in the future.

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Prabhu Jha

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