Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version

Spring 5-2-2021


Hillebrandt, T. 2021. Modernizing Legacy Business Practices and Maintaining Backwards Compatibility When Replacing Legacy Software. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright 2021 Thomas Hillebrandt


As technology advances and hardware as well as user expectations becomes more advanced, software systems must change alongside or go obsolete. When software is no longer developed, decisions must be made regarding its future. Through various methods, legacy software may continue to see usage far past its obsolescence, however legacy software will sooner or later face replacement by new applications, built for state-of-the-art machines, to comply with modern requirements. When writing new software to replace older programs, the added challenge for developers is to help the client also modernize their workflow. When a program has been in long time use - sometimes for decades - there may be a tendency to lean towards a “we’ve always done it this way” attitude. Replacing legacy software should come with some level of replacing legacy practices, while maintaining necessary backwards compatibility with any other legacy software the old program would interact with. It is important to ensure that replacement software doesn’t just become the old program in a shinier box, but rather can be an elegant product, for a more civilized age.