Industrial Case Study of Software Maintenance Evaluations

J. Koskinen, H. Lintinen, T. Tilus, H. Sivula, I. Kankaanpää, J.J. Ahonen, and P. Juutilainen (Finland)


Software maintainability, software maintenance,empirical software engineering, software processimprovement.


This paper describes an empirical case study focusing on maintenance evaluation of a large industrial legacy system. Aspects relevant to these kinds of studies are exemplified. The first part of the study focused on characterizing performed maintenance tasks and required effort at general level. The second part was larger and included gathering and analysis of versatile information relevant for improving maintenance and evolution of the system. The information concerned: maintainability aspects, maintenance problems, and maintenance processes. The information was gathered from maintenance experts via interviews. This part provided insights on the nature of relevant maintenance issues in improving practical industrial software engineering. The case study approach has been a practical and good way to focus to those legacy systems, which are problematic regarding their further evolution. Recommendations for improving the evolvability of the target system were provided. The case study also supports initiation of long term software maintenance process improvement.

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