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App Rewriting: What is it and how will it help your business?

A dedicated application can greatly facilitate company processes or customer contact. However, it’s important to note that even the best-designed application may not work if there are technical issues or the program was written using outdated technology. These systems require ongoing updates and technical supervision for optimal performance.

Rewriting a web application, though it may seem like a complex process, is a crucial step towards ensuring your business remains competitive and, more importantly, paves the way for high performance and security. This process also opens up new horizons, increasing the possibility of expanding the software with innovative functions, thereby fuelling your business growth.

This article is not just a guide but a comprehensive roadmap, taking you through the definitions, motivations, planning, and execution of the program rewriting process. It’s a product of our extensive knowledge and experience gained from successfully conducting numerous projects related to the creation and development of web applications for our clients, providing you with guidance and support.

What is an application rewrite?

Application rewriting is rebuilding an existing software application using advanced technologies or platforms. This process is much more complex than simple updates or modifications and often involves the complete reconstruction of the application’s architecture, data models, user interface, and other key components.

Transforming an existing application into a new technology requires an in-depth analysis of the current code and an understanding the business needs behind the application. Updating an application to new standards is often made to increase its performance, improve security, or introduce new functionalities that are difficult to implement in the current structure.

The main aspects to consider during the process of application rewriting are:

  • Choosing the right tool: Carefully research your options and choose the one that best suits your project’s needs.
  • Architecture planning: Understanding how new technology will affect your application’s architecture is crucial to ensuring its scalability and performance.
  • Maintain business continuity: The rewrite process mustn’t interfere with your current application, which can impact the user experience.

Creating a new version of the application is also an excellent opportunity to review and optimise the existing code. During this process, you can eliminate unnecessary code fragments, improve the structure, and implement new, better programming practices. It is a process that can significantly affect the future development of the application, its speed, security, and the overall quality of the code. Rewriting an application is a complex process that requires detailed analysis, but in the long run, it brings significant benefits for both developers and end users, including better support for browsers.

When does a new version of the app become a necessity?

With technological progress, applications may become outdated and lose effectiveness – their speed decreases, and some features may stop working correctly, leading to frustration for their users. We often talk about legacy applications that need a major refresh or rewrite. A new version of an app becomes necessary when the current platform can no longer support new features, does not meet security standards, or becomes disproportionately expensive to maintain. In addition, technical debt – the cumulative effect of trade-offs and temporary solutions – can degrade the performance and reliability of an application, requiring a significant reconstruction effort.

The decision to rewrite a web application requires a deep analysis. However, there are a few situations when such a step becomes unavoidable:

  1. Outdated technology – when the solutions used are no longer supported, which can lead to security and performance issues.
  2. Scalability issues – the application cannot meet the growing demands, which limits its development and capabilities.
  3. Inefficient code – over time, the application can become too complicated and difficult to maintain, which significantly increases operating costs.
  4. Changing business needs – new goals and market requirements may demand features that are difficult to implement in the current application structure.

These factors often make up a compelling argument for rewriting an app to ensure its continued growth and competitiveness in the market.

Our analyst will help you analyze and calculate update costs.

We invite you to a free consultation – we will talk and see if we can help.

How to recognise the need to rebuild the application?

Recognising when a web application needs to be updated to modern technologies is essential for the success of the project in the long run. Performance issues, scalability problems, and difficulties in implementing new features indicate it’s time for a change. Security issues should not be underestimated – outdated technological solutions are often no longer supported, which increases the risk of potential threats. Moreover, user feedback and satisfaction are crucial factors to consider. Therefore, it’s recommended that these aspects are regularly analysed to assess whether the current technology on which the application is based still meets the business needs and expectations of users.

To ensure proper analysis, hire an experienced partner to conduct a thorough application audit and suggest whether investing in a new version is necessary. When choosing your partner, make sure that they have experience in similar projects and have an IT analyst who will support you not only in the programming analysis but also in the business analysis of the project.

What does the rewriting process look like?

When beginning the process of rewriting a web application, it is crucial to understand the system’s current architecture and functionality deeply. This is essential to every programmer’s and IT architect’s job. We recommend conducting a detailed analysis of the source code and technical documentation to identify all dependencies and potential critical points. Focusing on these aspects will help to avoid many problems while implementing modern technical standards.

Moreover, it is necessary to define precise business and technical goals to be met by the updated application. This will significantly affect the choice of tools and project management methodologies used. Before beginning to write the code, considering the testing strategy is also a good idea. Implementing continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD), along with test automation, helps monitor the code’s quality on an ongoing basis and quickly respond to possible errors. This will also reduce the costs of the entire project.

In addition, we always emphasise end-users’ role in the testing process when working with our customers. Collaborating with the application’s target users can provide valuable information about the new version’s usability and expected features. This approach to the project’s strategy and implementation, including the need to test every aspect of the updated application, increases the chances of its success and allows for the achievement of the intended business goals.

Thanks to this, the project will achieve the desired effect faster, and the investor will avoid unnecessary costs.

Choosing the right tools

Selecting appropriate technologies and tools is crucial for the success of the web application rewriting project. Analysing the business and technical requirements allows tailoring solutions that best suit the project’s needs. Learning about the different modules and services available in the cloud is essential to connect them effectively and upgrade your server infrastructure. If the application is to be highly scalable and handle large loads, it is worth considering using modern technologies such as Vue or React for the front-end and Laravel or Node.js for the back-end. It is important to consider not only the popularity of the tools but also their availability of resources, community support, and adaptation to the specific project requirements.

When choosing the right technology for your application, it’s essential to make an informed decision that takes into account future maintenance, development, and scalability needs. It is not recommended to do this alone, as an IT architect can help compare technologies and suggest the best one based on your specific needs. By doing so, you can ensure that you have the optimal tools to achieve your goals.

Summary and best practices

Modernising a web application can be challenging, but it can bring significant benefits to an organisation, such as increased performance, enhanced security, improved scalability, and ease of maintenance. The key to success is careful preparation, choosing the right tools, engaging an experienced team, and focusing on continuous testing. It is important to remember that rewriting an application is not a panacea for all IT problems and should be considered carefully in the context of overall business goals and available resources. Here are some best practices that can help you rewrite your application effectively:

  • Thorough analysis and documentation of the existing application: Understanding the legacy application’s functionality, architecture, and dependencies is crucial to the project’s success. Documentation helps to avoid omissions and ensures that all key aspects are retained or improved.
  • Gradual rollout: Instead of completely replacing the old app with a new version in one step, consider rolling out the changes gradually. This will allow you to test and adapt your new application continuously, minimising the risk to your current business.
  • User and stakeholder engagement: Getting regular feedback from end users and other stakeholders is invaluable to the direction of a new application’s development. Their feedback can help you identify critical areas to rewrite and prioritise features.
  • Leveraging modern technologies and practices: Rewriting an application is an excellent opportunity to implement modern technologies and development best practices such as responsive development, test automation, continuous integration (CI), and continuous delivery (CD).
  • Focus on quality and safety: The new app should meet the highest quality and safety standards. Incorporating security practices into the application lifecycle will help to minimise potential vulnerabilities and threats.
  • Prepare a data migration plan: If the rewrite involves changing data structures, developing an effective migration plan is vital to ensure the data’s consistency and integrity while moving to the new system.

Rewriting an application is a significant task that, when well-planned and executed, can significantly contribute to an organisation’s success. The updated application, built on a solid foundation, will not only improve performance and security but also open up new opportunities for business growth.

Get to know the offer of EvoLabs, an experienced partner in the field of rebuilding web applications

Frequently Asked Questions

Does rewriting an application always involve interruptions in its operation?

No. In fact, with careful planning and appropriate implementation strategies, downtime can be significantly minimised or even completely avoided. The key is to choose the implementation method that best suits the project’s specifics and ensures a smooth transition between the old and new system.

How long does it take to rewrite an application?

The time it takes to rewrite an application depends on many factors, including its size, level of complexity, and the technologies that will be used. This process can take from a few weeks to a year or more, especially when the application is extensive or requires detailed reconfiguration and testing. The final time for the project will vary depending on the scope of the changes and the availability of resources.

Is it expensive to implement a new version of the application?

The new version of an application is developed by experienced developers, IT analysts, and DevOps specialists. Investing in rewriting an application should be considered for its long-term benefits. Rewriting an application leads to better performance, scalability, and lower maintenance costs. Additionally, software updates are easier to implement, and the application can be better adapted to market needs in the future. Therefore, when planning a budget for this investment, it is essential to consider the long-term benefits and cost reduction generated by the current and less functional application.

What are the risks of application modernisation?

Applications’ modernisation carries risks, such as the possibility of errors during migration, data loss, budget overruns, and service interruptions. It is essential to take appropriate countermeasures and plan to minimise these risks.

Does moving an application to a new technology guarantee an increase in performance?

Moving an application to a new technology doesn’t always guarantee improved performance. The success of this operation relies on different factors, such as the quality of the new code, thorough architecture planning, and proper technology selection. Therefore, it is crucial to carefully analyse and plan the modernisation process before implementing it.

Want to improve your application?

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