5. Bringing it all together
Once you have been through this all, it is a matter of bringing all of your acquired knowledge together and starting to use current best practice within the programming tool(s) that are used.
This is by far the longest section, because you don't necessarily want to add new bugs or break features that work properly as part of your fixing. Therefore, significant testing is required before deploying any updates.
Useful things to do are:
- Add comment code blocks to make it clear what they do, including removing outdated items
- Replacing deprecated functionality with a more modern equivalent, including upgrading software to run with a newer version of runtimes or libraries.
- Renaming variables (and constants) to have sensible descriptive names and appropriate data types. Be sure to use a global search and replace function to ensure that you get all instances of it.
- Set up a documentation library (or write this up and add it to one that already exists).
- Populate description fields in front ends and database where available
- Speed up the database by ensuring proper primary keys/referential integrity/indexes are in place that will benefit the application
- Add whitespace and indentation to code to improve readability
- Move from front end to database connectivity that needs ODBC to one that uses a DSN less connection
- Use tools such as Visio to map out the process workflow and add this to your documentation
Once you have got this far, you can determine:
- how feasible it would be to either integrate the functionality with another application, or work out how big a job it would be to rewrite from scratch.