An Insight of Software Development and Design Patterns
The collective process of designing, creating, testing, and maintaining software applications is introduced as Software Development. The process follows the light of the software development lifecycle and uses the various aspects of the cycle to produce well-maintained software as per the client’s specifications and use. The general System of the Software Development Life Cycle follows a linear sequential flow with the following stages as mentioned below,
- Identification of the proposed software
- Analysis of the requirements of the required software
- Specifications of the software in detail
- Design of the software
Thereby, the design of the software is adhered to by using several design patterns in the field of software development. According to the Gang of Four, there are 23 design patterns that would fall into either of the main categories as implied below,
- Creational Patterns
- Structural Patterns
- Behavioral Patterns
- JEE Design Patterns
In software engineering, design patterns are reusable, flexible solutions for commonly occurring problems in software. They are being well tested and are explained to have proven solutions. These design patterns look simple but it aids majorly in improving the maintainability of the software code that is implemented. In fact, improving code maintainability with design patterns is a well-observed step in the software development lifecycle
Thus, this guide focuses on the impact of how to improving the design patterns for code maintainability.
What is Code Maintainability
Software Code Maintainability is one of the most important non-functional quality measuring aspects taken into consideration during the implementation of the Software codes. Generally, code maintainability is when a software code could be easily read, understood, and used. Software developers always make sure to withhold the software maintainability by adapting the software to meet the new requirements of the client. The maintainability of the software code is in fact one of the most expensive phases of the system development life cycle.
Importance of Code Maintainability
Software Code Maintainability is highly required due to various reasons. The below points are some of the major importance of having code maintainability in Software development,
- It aids in Bug fixing. Bugs are extremely intolerable in software. Therefore in the process of maintainability, there will be a continuous search on this to avoid errors, and if there are errors they would be corrected. Thereby, ensuring the proper flow of the software
- The capability of the software to withstand new client specifications increases with code maintainability
- Unwanted functionalities could be replaced
- Security issues that cause trouble to the software could be found.
How are codes Maintained?
The process of code maintainability is carried out by four types of changes as follows;
- Corrective Method
- Adaptive Method
- Perfective Method
- Preventive Method
Writing software codes in a clean manner is quite challenging and the design patterns come in handy especially when dealing with complex problems. Thus, the answer to the question of how to enhance code maintainability with design patterns reveals as follows.
How to Improves Design patterns for code maintainability
With the existence of different design patterns as mentioned by the Gang of Four, each design pattern uniquely involves itself in improving the efficacy of the maintenance of the software codes. Thereby, the benefits of design patterns in code maintenance have been descriptively explained as mentioned below;
By reduction of Code Complexity
One of the major ways that it increases the efficiency of code maintainability is through the reduction of the complexity of the code. Through the usage of design patterns, the main points represented by the problem will be abstracted and encapsulated for evaluation. The design patterns simplify the component changes without affecting the entire system. And therefore, the code could be maintained since it is simple and short making it easier to handle.
In explanation with an example, during the usage of the factory design pattern, the objects are created and provided to the client. Yet, the logic of how the objects were created has been hidden from the client code. By using such a way, the code could be simplified and there will be no duplication or coupling.
By increasing the ability to read the Code
Design patterns make use of common vocabulary and structure for the required design. Abbreviations and general terms are avoided in this vocabulary. Furthermore, design patterns do not use any negative expressions. Thus, this involves increasing the code maintainability since it is easier to read the code and debug it if necessary.
For a clearer idea, the observer design pattern could be taken as an example. In this design pattern, the dependency of one or more objects is shown. Here, one object is involved in notifying the other observers regarding changes in states. With the usage of readable codes communication could be done more efficiently and clearly. Thereby, no errors would be made and the code could be maintained.
By the involvement of reusability
By modularity, the reusability of the code could be supported by using design patterns. With the codes being reused, there will be less overload in code creation which would specifically aid in code maintainability.
As an example, the strategy design pattern could be taken. This design pattern involves the usage of an interchangeable algorithm for selected runtimes. Using design patterns as such, the code can be reused using the same algorithm for different problems. Due to this, hard coding and conditional logic could be avoided.
By Facilitating Testing
The fourth point of using design patterns and how it improves code maintainability is by facilitating testing. By enabling loose coupling and dependency, the testing of the code could be done as required.
Taking the adapter design pattern as an example, this pattern aids in adapting an incompatible interface to another interface. This makes it easier to test different other components of the interface. Therefore, by using design patterns the dependencies of the code will be isolated, and more testable and reliable codes could be written.
By giving space for creativity
Design patterns inspire creativity and aid in innovating proven solutions with the best adaptations. The specific requirements of the client could be met and adapted more suitably.
The decorator design pattern can add new functionality to the existing object without any modifications to the structure. This will be solely based on composition. Therefore, by using design patterns the code could be extended and customized in a way such that the existing functionality will not be hindered or violated. And this would improve the code maintainability.
Thereby, the above points vividly explain the impact of design patterns on maintaining the codes. In fact, the code maintainability best practices rely on the design patterns majorly.
Code Maintainability is highly essential for the flow of the software development lifecycle. Therefore, codes with maximum efficiency could be produced in the technological world. The usage of design patterns for code maintainability is the center point of the Software development lifecycle. And the impact these design patterns have in maintaining codes is wide.