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The Art of Software Reengineering: Breathing New Life Into Your Product

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Slava Hraichenko
Mar 21, 2024
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Unlocking the full potential of a software product involves more than just a great feature set. It's about ensuring optimal performance, maintainability, exceptional user experience, and other aspects. You can achieve these goals through code reengineering, ideally backed by an expert IT managed team.

But what does code reengineering involve? And how can it ensure your product is effective, relevant, and competitive? This article unpacks these issues. But before we dive into it, let's discuss what motivates businesses and startups to reengineer their products.

When do software products need reengineering?

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Reengineering means changing the product's architecture, design, or functionality to enhance quality and match new requirements. Its scope can range from basic code improvements to more extensive tasks, such as migrating to new platforms or rebuilding certain parts from the ground up. The common scenarios that demand reengineering include:

  • Managing intensified loads. As the product gains traction, its user base grows, and the load increases. Without reengineering, handling such an increase while maintaining performance might be a challenge.
  • Updating or upgrading a product. Adding new features to the product, especially those based on the latest technologies like artificial intelligence, often requires prior improvements to the existing architecture or codebase. Reengineering is a critical step to improve the product’s performance.  
  • Reducing maintenance costs. Over time, software products may accumulate technical debt and unnecessary functionality, driving up maintenance expenses. Addressing this issue typically calls for reengineering, in particular, optimizing infrastructure and consolidating databases.
  • Adapting to growing user demands. It’s essential to constantly enhance the experience your product offers to meet changing user expectations. This involves software reengineering through usability enhancements and performance optimization.

Overall, all these scenarios boil down to one key challenge: staying ahead in an ever-evolving technological and business landscape. In other words, if you want to keep your product competitive, profitable, and appealing to users, reengineering is not just a choice – it's a necessity. While reengineering works can be quite comprehensive, and lacking in-house resources might be a concern, you can always opt for managed technology services from a reliable provider.

What does software reengineering involve?

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Reengineering is an umbrella term for a wide range of methods and techniques. The precise scope of work for your project will depend on various aspects, including your unique goals, context, and challenges. That’s why it’s better to partner with an experienced managed software development team — they’ll help you identify the reengineering tasks your product requires. To give you a better understanding, here are three main categories these tasks can be grouped into.  

Reverse engineering 

Reverse engineering is essentially the analysis of an existing product. It may involve code assessment, architecture evaluations, and documentation review. The main goal at this stage is to diagnose the software's current state, with its strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. 

Overall, reverse engineering lays the groundwork for the entire process. It allows the development team to define and prioritize tasks, create a reengineering roadmap, and decide on resources and methodologies to implement it.


At this stage, the development team renovates the existing product to align it with your goals and requirements. Quality upgrade is another objective. Restructuring typically covers:

  • Architecture redesign. Legacy architecture can affect product growth and performance and increase maintenance costs. Developers can tackle this issue by breaking monolithic systems into microservices, migrating to cloud-based solutions, or implementing other architectural patterns for easier scaling and greater flexibility. 
  • Database optimization. Optimizing your database is crucial if you want to speed up data retrieval and processing, prepare your product for increased loads, or reduce resource usage. Developers can optimize databases through data normalization, index modification, partitioning, query rewriting, and more.
  • Code refactoring. It means improving the code of an existing product to make it cleaner and more maintainable. While code refactoring doesn’t change the product’s external behavior, its overall quality gets a boost. We’ll discuss it in more detail in the next section.

Software restructuring can be a game-changer for product success. Take, for example, our client Percona, a leading database software service company. They turned to our outsourced managed IT services to overhaul the telemetry system, which no longer met their expanding business needs. Our team rolled out a series of improvements, which allowed Percona to properly prioritize feature releases for their core product. This greatly enhanced user experience and satisfaction.

Forward engineering

In forward engineering, developers build new functionalities or entire systems from scratch. This is often needed to address new business needs, seize market opportunities, or meet user demands. Integrating new features as part of your reengineering efforts offers one key advantage. Developers create these features on top of a restructured product or, at the very least, with restructuring in mind. This guarantees that new features are efficient, reliable, and scalable from the outset.

In one of our projects, WikiArt, we overhauled the web portal's architecture to enhance its performance under increased load. At the same time, our team introduced new features, such as advanced search and interaction functionalities, to streamline the user journey. The client has grown into a renowned art portal, and we’re proud to have contributed to its success through our managed technology services. 

All stages of reengineering are crucial for maintaining the product’s quality. However, code refactoring is an absolute cornerstone for any project. You just can't have scalable, maintainable, and efficient software if your code is messy. Let's explore this even further.

Key principles of clean code and their role in product quality

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Code duplication, unnecessary complexity, confusing naming conventions, and inconsistent coding styles are just a few code issues plaguing product quality. They disrupt maintenance efforts and prevent products from scaling or adapting to new requirements. However, developers can eliminate these issues through code refactoring, producing clean code. Now, you might be wondering what exactly clean code’ means. Here are its core principles:

  • Readability. The code is easy to read and understand, with clear comments and descriptive variable names.
  • Consistency. Coding styles, naming conventions, and design patterns are consistent throughout the codebase.
  • Simplicity. Over-engineering is avoided; there are no deeply nested conditional statements, long methods or functions, or convoluted logic.
  • Modularity. Each component or module handles a single task.
  • Testability. The code is structured for future testing: it’s loosely coupled, modular, and follows dependency injection principles.
  • Flexibility. The code can be easily adapted to changing requirements or business needs.

As products evolve, they naturally gather a few wrinkles in the code, especially if you’re trying to keep pace with the growing user needs. That's why it's crucial to revisit and review the code every now and then to catch and fix issues early on.


Reengineering is a must to ensure that your software remains reliable, maintainable, and scalable. By incorporating reengineering practices into your software development process, you can innovate and adapt to shifting market conditions faster and with fewer resources. If your in-house team is busy with higher-priority tasks, opting for outsourced managed IT services is the smart way of moving forward. An external team can handle the reengineering effort, freeing your in-house developers’ time for more strategic work.

Need help with product reengineering? Contact us, and let’s discuss the details.

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