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Legacy systems


“In any transport network large enough to be useful, we have to accommodate the legacy systems that are already there when we’re putting in new ones”


form of it) what should we do differently? Well, here are some suggestions…and I’d love to hear more from other people with a point of view on this; • When we’re building new stuff, recognize that it’s legacy the day after its installed, so make sure it will be able integrate and smoothly transition to whatever will come after it in the fullness of time. That’s going to mean open and well-documented interfaces and room for expansion to


accommodate new requirements that you can’t hope to foresee right now….it explicitly doesn’t mean closed and proprietary systems that can only be supported by one organization that might not be around in 20 or 30 years time!


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• Embrace the capabilities of legacy, and address its limita- tions without automatically condemning it to my wastebin. This means doing things like encapsulating and partition- ing systems to make use of the information or capability that the legacy offers, without automatically assuming that it has nothing to offer and should be removed as quickly as possible.


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• Recognise that we will always be in a transition out of leg- acy systems, so instead of looking ahead to what will be possible once the legacy is gone, consider instead how you can get as much as possible out of the overall system while the legacy is still there and you’re migrating through it. This means using abstracted functional interfaces which can be realized through several different mechanisms – perhaps initially delivered via the legacy infrastructure and later through the wonderful solution the guy at the front is proposing.


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We live in a wonderful world that is motivated by progress and improvement and has spectacular things in it but, as we constantly strive for the new, let’s not forget that the old still has something worthwhile to offer us too.


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 Dr Dave Marples is Chief Scientist at Technolution BV  dave.marples@technolution.eutechnolution.eu


For previous articles by this author type MARPLES in the search facility on thinkinghighways.com


Europe/Rest of the World Vol 8 No 2 |||||||||||||||||


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