Building a Bridge to a Legacy Application - How Hard Can that Be?

My team was asked to build an integration with an old legacy application which had no programming API whatsoever, and we were so excited. How did we tackle that challenge? Did we succeed? What happened next? Come and listen to find out. And I promise the ending will surprise and/or depress you.

 
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Outline/Structure of the Experience Report

My team loves working on legacy code projects. It’s all that we do. That’s why a friend of mine reached out to us for some help.

His startup was building out a universal API across a very fragmented industry with little to no interoperability or standards. Up until now, integrating with the systems in that industry had been pretty easy, because the companies that built them were willing to help.

But now he’d found one that wasn’t willing to help. There was no obvious API for getting data out of the legacy application so that it could be exposed via his company’s API. A big client for his company was riding on his ability to be able to pull this off. He remembered how much I loved a challenge and how much my team loved legacy code, so he figured we were his best shot.

The goal was to be able to read from the application’s database.

In this talk, I’ll cover:

  • the different approaches that we took
    • the one we really wanted to try because we thought it would be fun
    • the approaches that we needed to try before we could attempt the fun one
  • the excitement that we felt while working on it
  • the grind toward completion once the big technical hurdle was crossed
  • the sense of achievement when we got a read-only solution built
  • the hope that we’d get the green light to start working on a read-write solution
  • the disappointment when the plug got pulled and we weren’t authorized to proceed any further

It was a fun journey, and I’d love to be able to share it.

Learning Outcome

Attendees will walk away with a better understanding of how to tackle reverse-engineering interoperability with a third-party legacy system.

Target Audience

Anyone

schedule Submitted 3 weeks ago

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