Years ago, you had a need to automate a business process, make production systems talk to each other, glue disparate systems together, so you bought in a contractor to develop a solution. Does this sound familiar?
The software solution is now critical to operations, and the developer can’t be contacted or does not want to be involved anymore. Luckily you were able to salvage the source code, and you hope it was the latest version.
So what do you do? Save thousands of dollars – Rescue the Orphaned Software.
1. Locate the source code and check the dates of the files against the dates of the files in the application folder? If they have the same date, things are looking up, if not, then some remediation will be necessary. First things first, continue with the other tips below to shore up the software.
2. Have you got test cases for the Software? These will be needed to determine if the app is still working. Located a champion user ask them to capture user inputs, integration files, and the appropriate results, reports and integration outputs for as many scenarios as necessary to capture the current operation of the software. These inputs and output sets will form the test cases and golden results that will be used to check newer versions operate correctly.
3. Locate the user manual and check that is correct, update it to match the latest software, this is a great way to capture how it currently works. Once updated, this can form a basis for the enhancement of the software. Enhancements can be specified as changed to the user manual indicating how the software should be altered to produce new functions.
4. Make the technology audit of the software to determine how is it structured, installed and operates, treating it as a black box. Try to deploy the software in a Virtual Machine, and if the installers work and you are able to start it and operate it, document the deployment steps. These steps will form the installation procedure for any new versions
5. From the technology audit, you can identify software developers willing to work the particular technology stack. They will be able to guide you as to the pros and cons of working with that stack into the future. From this information you can plan an uplift of the application to the minimum viable product that will work on maintained versions of operating systems and tools.
At this point, the software is rescued and is ready for a bright future. All the known bugs can be fixed; additional integrations are now possible allowing visibility of its contents for customer service, all up making more of the investment for many years to come.
We are here to help and advise you.