Technology changes fast, and many large and small companies still rely upon legacy systems that they invested in decades ago. These systems may run on mainframes and use older relational or even hierarchical databases and archaic programming languages. The biggest barrier to upgrading might be the expense, but even a system that is a decade old might be considered ancient in information technology time.
That means that software development companies may no longer provide support for the software these older systems need to run, and it might get tougher to find trained software developers to maintain older code. Finally, old-fashioned user interfaces might reduce the efficiency and even relevance of these older applications. The first logical step might be to upgrade the user interface, and gateway applications can bridge the gap between a legacy system stored on a mainframe and newer client interfaces that may get served from a PC, tablet, or even a smart phone.
Five Tips for Better Application Gateway Performance
The major concern might be reducing system performance more by adding another layer between the backend and the client’s interface. Novell was a dominant leader in the emergence of local area networks, or LANs, and they also supply some tips to help tune performance.
Consider these following ideas to help speed up performance of your gateway applications, your software development partner will be able to assist you with the necessary maintenance:
- Use the right number of access gateways for the number of users.
- Store static information on the server or in the cache after the first retrieval.
- Manage the log file size.
- Manage audit triggers.
- Develop efficient frontend software.
Access Gateways and Maximum Numbers of Users
For example, Novell suggests limiting the maximum number of users per gateway to 5,000. If more than 5,000 users will need simultaneous access to your application, you may need to add another gateway. Review the specifications for your own configuration to come up with the right numbers.
Storage of Static Information on the Client Side
If every user action performed during a session keeps retrieving the same information, such as login credentials, consider storing that on the client side during a single session.
Manage Log File Size
Large log files can degrade performance. Most of the time, the system needs to read through the entire file in order to append information on the end. Monitor how quickly those files grow, take backups as often as you need to, and empty out the log files before they get huge.
Manage Audit Triggers
This actually falls under the same category of managing log file size. Try to reduce the number of events that need logging or auditing to a sensible amount. For example, you may want to record three invalid password attempts, but you may not need to log each one.
Develop Efficient Front End Software
Your client applications should be developed with performance in mind. If you already know that they are intended to reach a backend system through a network, consider how many times they really need to send a request for information.
It might be more efficient to retrieve a variety of related records during the first request than to retrieve records one at a time. In general, it is more efficient for an application to request 10 records at once than to request a single record 10 times.
Choosing a Software Development Partner
There are many Software Development Companies that will say they have experience with legacy applications. Because this type of software development is highly specialized, there are few that possess the skills required to assist you. Cloud application development is the future, and most new software development companies have not had the opportunity to work with legacy applications. If you are not ready to make the jump to fully cloud based applications, finding a partner who truly understands the intricacies of your enterprise legacy applications will be paramount to the success of your business.