The Contractor Silo Problem

Written byBig Iron

October 10, 2012

Let’s suppose that you have a large system you’d like to redo for the web. You could get it translated, but you don’t want the likely performance and maintainability problems associated with wholesale line-by-line translation. In fact, you don’t even want the new system to look like the old one: you want slick graphics, customized and stylish menus, drop downs, radio buttons… the works. In other words, you want to rewrite it.

If the system is big, you might at first consider giving it to a big integrator to redo. The first problem with that approach is that nobody has 80 highly productive developers just sitting there waiting to start your legacy modernization project. Firms may have a few, but not enough good ones.

Another approach is to divide the work and give it to 3 or 4 or 5 firms. Not a bad idea, because they will compete, and you won’t have the “entrenched contractor” problem that we hear so much about. There’s only one difficulty: how do you get them to write the code in a consistent style, so that it all fits together and looks like one team wrote it? Because if not, you will get 3 or 4 or 5 “silo” implementations, with the interoperability and maintenance problems that go along with it.

You can’t solve this problem with a paper architecture, but you can solve it by implementing an architecture for the entire system and directing the contractors to use common code and put their unique business logic on one place. That’s what ResQSoft(r) Engineer gives you — you can have all the routine code written automatically, including the architectural code for the entire application, and then the contractors can fit their implementations into the correct spots. After all, getting rid of the silo implementations is one of the main reasons for legacy modernization in the first place.

Engineer gives you a best practices, MVC style architecture in Java or .NET — not on paper, but in working code. That’s the only way to tie it all together!

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