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Software Engineering | Software Evolution

  • Difficulty Level : Medium
  • Last Updated : 28 Dec, 2020

Software Evolution is a term which refers to the process of developing software initially, then timely updating it for various reasons, i.e., to add new features or to remove obsolete functionalities etc. The evolution process includes fundamental activities of change analysis, release planning, system implementation and releasing a system to customers. 

The cost and impact of these changes are accessed to see how much system is affected by the change and how much it might cost to implement the change. If the proposed changes are accepted, a new release of the software system is planned. During release planning, all the proposed changes (fault repair, adaptation, and new functionality) are considered. 

A design is then made on which changes to implement in the next version of the system. The process of change implementation is an iteration of the development process where the revisions to the system are designed, implemented and tested. 

The necessity of Software evolution: Software evaluation is necessary just because of the following reasons:

a) Change in requirement with time: With the passes of time, the organization’s needs and modus Operandi of working could substantially be changed so in this frequently changing time the tools(software) that they are using need to change for maximizing the performance.

b) Environment change: As the working environment changes the things(tools) that enable us to work in that environment also changes proportionally same happens in the software world as the working environment changes then, the organizations need reintroduction of old software with updated features and functionality to adapt the new environment.

c) Errors and bugs: As the age of the deployed software within an organization increases their preciseness or impeccability decrease and the efficiency to bear the increasing complexity workload also continually degrades. So, in that case, it becomes necessary to avoid use of obsolete and aged software. All such obsolete Softwares need to undergo the evolution process in order to become robust as per the workload complexity of the current environment.  

d) Security risks: Using outdated software within an organization may lead you to at the verge of various software-based cyberattacks and could expose your confidential data illegally associated with the software that is in use. So, it becomes necessary to avoid such security breaches through regular assessment of the security patches/modules are used within the software. If the software isn’t robust enough to bear the current occurring Cyber attacks so it must be changed (updated).

e) For having new functionality and features: In order to increase the performance and fast data processing and other functionalities, an organization need to continuously evolute the software throughout its life cycle so that stakeholders & clients of the product could work efficiently.


Laws used for Software Evolution: 


  1. Law of continuing change: 
    This law states that any software system that represents some real-world reality undergoes continuous change or become progressively less useful in that environment.
  2. Law of increasing complexity: 
    As an evolving program changes, its structure becomes more complex unless effective efforts are made to avoid this phenomenon.
  3. Law of conservation of organization stability: 
    Over the lifetime of a program, the rate of development of that program is approximately constant and independent of the resource devoted to system development.
  4. Law of conservation of familiarity: 
    This law states that during the active lifetime of the program, changes made in the successive release are almost constant.


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