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Application Refactoring

What is Application Refactoring?

Application refactoring is the process of restructuring or reorganizing a software application to improve its performance, functionality, scalability, and maintainability. Application refactoring can involve activities such as:

  • Restructuring the existing code of an application
  • Performance optimization
  • Artchitecture redesign
  • Database optimization
  • User interface and user experience improvements

Why Is Application Refactoring Important?

Businesses often look into application refactoring when something needs to be fixed or improved. Refactoring applications can be an important task because it improves their performance - simplifying complex code, improving the efficiency of algorithms, or removing unnecessary code.


It can also boost security by getting rid of things like hardcoded passwords or adding features like input validation to confirm user input meets certain criteria.


Refactoring offers an opportunity to document and organize code, making it easier to maintain over time.

How Does Application Refactoring Work?

Refactoring techniques vary based on the process but are generally done in small, incremental steps to ensure that the changes in code do not break the application or hinder continuous delivery. Taking small steps also allows developers to zero in on improvements for specific areas so they can deliver true benefits with each iteration. New languages or tools may be used to refactor applications, and APIs may also be incorporated to help connect services and help them "talk" to one another.


The general goal is to find opportunities to make the current application more efficient, which may look like finding ways to better package and process code, identifying shorter connections in the code that may currently be written with more detail than needed, or replacing older pieces of an application with newer ones, such as migrating to a newer database.

What Are the Limitations of Application Refactoring?

Because refactoring is more about changing the structure or design of the code instead of the functionality, it isn't a good fit for applications that have poor functionality to begin with. Refactoring may also cause problems with existing functionality, so it must be approached with caution. Because refactoring involves changing the current code, it can also create unintended bugs.


Application refactoring is one of the more labor intensive and time-consuming approaches to application modernization. Modifying and restructuring code can take a significant amount of effort and a deep understanding of the application in itself, as well as expertise in programming, architectural knowledge, etc., are necessary in order to succeed.

What Are the Benefits of Application Refactoring?

Refactoring an application can come with a number of benefits, including maintainability, security, performance, scalability, cost cost optimization, and meeting compliance requirements.


It may be hard to fix bugs or add features to a legacy application. After it's been refactored, this can be a much easier undertaking. This can also improve ongoing maintenance efforts.


When refactored properly, attackers should have a harder time finding and infiltrating through vulnerabilities in the code. Plus, a refactored application can be more efficient, more user-friendly, and handle increased traffic.


Streamlining code and increasing application efficiency can help optimize spend by decreasing infrastructure costs and reducing the amount of time needed for development and maintenance. Additionally, when refactoring an application, it's easier to ensure sensitive data is handled in accordance with regulations and compliance requirements to lessen legal risks.

What Does Refactoring in the Cloud Mean?

Application refactoring can be done in on-premises environments or as part of a move to the cloud. Refactoring in the cloud refers to using refactoring to harness the benefits of cloud computing, either through a move to cloud infrastructure, refactoring to employ cloud-based services, or changing the architecture to use cloud-based features, such as serverless architecture or microservices. Many present-day application refactoring projects are working to refactor in the cloud, as digital transformation becomes more prevalent.

What is Application Refactoring vs Replatforming?

While application refactoring is mainly focused on making improvements to an application, replatforming is more about moving an application to a new platform. However, both can be used together. For example, an application may be refactored and replatformed as two approaches to improve performance and leverage new technologies and infrastructure.

Why Should You Choose Application Refactoring?

The process of application refactoring isn't for everyone, but if you are looking to extend the life of your application, make it more secure, improve its efficiency, or make it easier for others to maintain it in the future, refactoring may be the way to go.

How TierPoint Can Help With Application Refactoring

A significant piece of application modernization involves refactoring. If you are looking to minimize your technical debt and remove code that may not work well in a new environment, but are looking to keep costs low where possible, TierPoint can help you determine whether application refactoring will help you achieve your digital transformation goals.

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