Digital Transformation: Refactoring. What It Is and How It Helps Your Business Grow

February 3, 2022
Digital Transformation: Refactoring. What It Is and How It Helps Your Business Grow

Digital transformation: refactoring involves changing the structure of the code without changing its functionality or extending it with additional integrations. In simple words, refactoring is the process of code improvement and polishment. When the code is clean, it’s easier to maintain the project and reduce the number of bugs. Let’s see how refactoring can transform your business.

What is Refactoring Transformation

First of all, let’s find out when your project may need refactoring and application transformation. Some of the signs include:

  • It becomes too complicated to manipulate the codes, methods, or classes
  • Object-oriented programming principles are applied incorrectly or are incomplete
  • Superfluous coupling
  • To make the project function consistently, there is a need to make repeated code changes in multiple areas 
  • Unnecessary and clunky code еthe removal of which won’t make a difference

Why is refactoring all about transformations? The answer is simple. With the clean code, it’s easier to make future product iterations and innovations to scale the software product. And scaling equals transformations.

Application refactoring is an iterative process that should be done regularly to ensure the flawless operation of your software product.

Image by Proxet, Custom Software Development Company. Application Refactoring.
class="wp-image-5014"/>Application Refactoring
“Refactoring is a controlled technique for improving the design of an existing codebase. Its essence is applying a series of small behavior-preserving transformations, each of which "too small to be worth doing."

However, the cumulative effect of each of these transformations is quite significant. By doing them in small steps, you reduce the risk of introducing errors. You also avoid having the system broken while you are carrying out the restructuring — which allows you to gradually refactor a system over an extended period of time.”— Martin Fowler, the author of the book “Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code”.

The refactoring process is not a one-time approach. To achieve results, you should take small steps to increase project efficiency and maintain the code's functionality simultaneously. It is not a single refactoring that influences and transforms the project. Instead, it's the result of cumulative small refactorings. Bear a single goal in mind: to improve the project workflow and make it perform at its best.

Cloud Refactoring

Cloud business refactoring is a very resource-intensive option of cloud migration. To accomplish it, developers need to review, rearchitect, and recode the existing application components before migrating to the cloud. Thus, they make the most out of cloud-native features and improve the project’s scalability. Yes, it takes a lot of resources, but it’s all about return on investment in a long perspective.

If your application is cloud-native, it requires the continuous innovation model of the cloud with improvements in functionality, operations, security, resilience, and responsiveness.

“Refactor, even when you think it’s not worthwhile because refactoring toward clean code is a war of attrition.”— Erik Dietrich, a software developer and CEO at Hit Subscribe.

And we totally agree here. Have you ever heard about technical debt?

Image by Proxet, Custom Software Development Company. Technical Debt.
class="wp-image-5016"/>Technical Debt

All technical teams have technical debt. It happens when developers poorly create new parts of the code without a clear goal in mind. This debt tends to accumulate when time goes by and can turn into a real disaster later.

Instead of improving the code, we rush to complete the tasks from the next sprint not to miss a release deadline. Technical debt (TD) is the process of making temporary easy-to-implement solutions to achieve short-term results at the expense of efficiency in the long run.

Benefits of cloud automatic refactoring include:

  • Long-term cost reduction

Refactoring matches consumption with the demand and eliminates waste, reducing costs in the long run. It leads to better ROI when compared to cloud-native applications.

  • Resilience improvement

The application improves the resilience of the cloud by separating components of the application and combining highly-available and managed services.

  • Response to business events

Cloud refactoring enables applications to scale up their cloud services and adjust them according to demand.

Structural Design of Refactoring

Now let’s dive deeper into the structural design of refactoring.  Structural design includes investigating the stability, strength, and rigidity of structures. The main goal in refactoring structural analysis is to produce a structure that will resist all applied loads and won’t fail during its intended life.

The structural design of refactoring consists of the following areas:

  • Source code refactoring that aims at changing the structure of the application but keeping the functionality the same or scaling the app with new features
  • Database refactoring that involves changes in database schemas to improve the performance o the product
  • User interface refactoring consists of changes in UI to make the application work consistently while improving its performance and keeping the functionality the same

Refactoring usually aims at repairing either the design model, database utilization, coding techniques, or logic errors. In this manner, swift transform can help avoid a poor initial design and simplify application re-platforming without changing how the application interacts with other applications, users, or databases.

All you have to do is choose the right design pattern that will fit your project needs. When it comes to structural design, you should always be aware of different design patterns that prevent some of the common problems in software development and make your code more clean and scalable. Here are the main types of design patterns:

  • Creational patterns

These patterns help you create objects and improve code flexibility, especially if you want to create new objects for your project.

  • Structural patterns

As you may have guessed from the name itself, structural code patterns help you improve the structure of your project. It makes it clearer and organized, which helps you create reusable and flexible code.

  • Behavioral Patterns

You can use these patterns to scale your objects with different behaviors and algorithms. In such a case, your code will be more scalable, and each object's behavior will be more cohesive as well.

Design patterns will help you get rid of code smells that indicate that you may have structural or internal issues. Code smells have different forms and shapes, such as issues with functions, classes, or code size.

Finding code smells manually is challenging enough. Luckily, there are special online tools that will help you detect different issues in your software. One of such tools is Sonarqube - сode quality and security tool which can be connected to your code repository to immediately scan your code and show you the issues that occur. Sonarqube shows you such issues as code coverage, code smells, bugs, and code duplications.

Using design patterns in combination with such tools will help you scan your code more efficiently and eliminate the bugs on the go. As a result, your code will be cleaner, and your performance will increase.

An Example of Refactoring Roadmap

Let’s review the most famous roadmaps for refactoring and aggressive refactoring. The first one is called “Red-Green Refactoring.”

Red-green refactoring

Red-Green is a widely-used technique in the Agile software development process that includes the “test-first” approach to design and implementation and serves as a base for refactoring. Red-green refactoring includes three steps:

  • Writing the failing “red-test”
  • Writing simple code to pass “green” testing
  • Focus on improving your code and keeping it green

Refactoring By Abstraction

This technique is very useful when you need to do a lot of refactoring and reduce the redundancy (duplication) in our code. Refactoring by abstraction includes the following refactoring catalog components: class inheritances, hierarchy, creating new classes and interfaces, extraction, replacing inheritance with delegation.

Composing Method

Composing method is all about using streamlined methods to remove and avoid duplicates in the code. The examples of the composing method include: extract method, extract a variable, inline Temp, replace Temp with Query, inline method, split temporary variable, remove assignments to parameters, etc.

Refactoring Transformations Example

Here is a refactoring code transformations example of a case study that proves the efficiency of refactoring. They have faced the following challenges:

  • No Tiers
  • No ACLs
  • Weakness Domain Modeling
  • No boundary/Context

The company has resolved these issues by:

  • Adding boundaries: ACL and Facade
  • Extracting the domain models and making it flexible to involve a case and also understand the business logic deeply
  • Create a Model Design with OOAD, which is a great refactoring example
“Refactoring takes the software design to the next level and makes it easier to understand, helps to find bugs, and execute the programs faster. Moreover, it changes the way a developer thinks about the implementation when not refactoring.”— George Serebrennikov, COO at Proxet (ex - Rails Reactor) – a custom software development solutions company.

Code refactoring is not all about quick changes, and advantages for business are not always obvious. However, in the long run, you will get better code and a more optimized workflow, which is a large investment in your company's success.

Want a consultation of the best refactoring practices? Proxet specializes in digital transformation services to organizations of any size who want to scale their business. Our team provides fundamental changes to organizations and institutions by integrating digital technologies. Contact the Proxet team to help!

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