Monday, February 25, 2013

Legacy System And Client-Server System

Some of you have lived through the conversion of a legacy system into a client-server or distributed system. Others have tangentially been involved, while others may have just heard about it. With the information you have read in this lecture and the text, and/or your own experiences, discuss some possible problems that might arise in the conversion.

Software and applications that function according to old technology even though there are newer technologies available are known as legacy systems. Because the costs of replacement are usually high, not to forget the efforts, legacy systems generally are left as they are (Burke 2011).Thus, in most cases bequest system is utilized for the reason that the system where effort and time is needed in understanding it in order to change it and put a better and newer technology in its place. 

The incentive behind developing a web browser system by replacing the bequest system is to use a sole client for every platform. Here a single set of cods will be kept and utilized by the platforms (Dossick & Kraiser 1996). One other factor that pushes for conversion is because replacement and change of such a system will aim at specific users and situations, and changing legacy system in to a thin client generally results in a significant decrease in the needed training cost. The changeover between applications will also be much simpler for the user.

Possible Problems that may arise in the conversion

When organizations decide to incorporate legacy systems with newer technology, the biggest challenges faced are due to the new hardware and software. Even if they find a way out to bring about such integration, it usually involves lots of money and effort just so that the organization can create and continue the entire process of integration. For instance, most computer systems function on flat-files and incorporating a web portal interface with such systems adds an additional burden to the dependability of the new system as it needs extra effort (Rea 2011). The solution to this is for the organization to create a new system in order to leverage the legacy system data on the network. This is done by developing a network hosting system and a front-end function.

The fact that it costs a lot to maintain and operate, is one of the major issues of legacy system. Costs are also incurred in making sure that the IT team continues to work using bequest system for a elongated period of time. This is definitely a huge responsibility for an organization. One of the common options that organizations choose is they replace the legacy system and use an already established package or internal built-in system that can fulfill the requirements of the business, and thus improve business processes.

Conversion of legacy system to a client-server or distributed system is all about retaining and extending the investment cost of the system by migrating to new and latest platforms (Good 2002). The conversion process adds on new abilities to the latest system and lowers operational costs by implementation other technologies like web services.
According to Burke (2011), the support and maintenance of bequest system is a difficult task because the changes in technology form a bigger barrier for the functioning of such systems. Ultimately organizations are on the lookout for current and updated systems and technologies to replace the older systems.

In the end, one major problem that might occur during conversion is that the new client-server systems (fat or thin clients) may be created with documentation management services and flat-files rather than with rational record.

References:
  • Dossick, S. and Kaiser, G. Dossick, S (1996).  WWW Access to Legacy Client/Server Applications. Available: http://iw3c2.cs.ust.hk/WWW5/www5conf.inria.fr/fich_html/papers/P4/Overview.html Last Accessed 21st February 2013.
  • Burke, A. (2011). Definition of Legacy System. Available: http://www.ehow.com/about_5175378_definition-legacy-system.html Last Accessed 21st February 2013.
  • Rea, W. (2011). Problems with Legacy Systems. Available: http://www.ehow.com/about_5545039_problems-legacy-systems.html Last Accessed 21st February 2013.
  • Good, D. (2002). Legacy Transformation. Available: http://www.semdesigns.com/Company/Publications/Legacy%20Transformation.pdf

Elad Shalom,
CTO at ITweetLive.com

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