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This content is part of the Essential Guide: Using old apps? New approaches for application modernization
Definition

application modernization

Application modernization is the refactoring, re-purposing or consolidation of legacy software programming to align it more closely with current business needs.

The goal of an application modernization project is to create new business value from existing applications. An application is a program designed to perform a specific function directly for the user or, in some cases, for another application program. Keeping legacy applications running smoothly can be a time-consuming, resource-intensive process, especially when the software becomes so outdated that it becomes incompatible with newer versions of the underlying operating system (OS) or system hardware.

Traditional methods for modernizing applications include rewriting existing application code written in COBOL to a more modern, Web-friendly programming language or placing a Web interface in front of an outdated application to salvage parts of the application that might still have value. The challenges in modernizing legacy applications come mostly from the fact that, in many legacy applications, the business process workflow is hardcoded and tightly coupled with other aspects of the legacy code.

See also: application portfolio management, application migration

This was last updated in June 2013

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