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Data as Technical Debt: Managing the Challenges of Legacy Data During a System Migration

Smith, Dolsy (2019) Data as Technical Debt: Managing the Challenges of Legacy Data During a System Migration. In: ELUNA 2019 Annual Meeting, April 29-May 3, 2019, Atlanta, GA.

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Software developers use the term “technical debt” to refer to elements of software that, while effective in the short term, prove expensive or unsustainable in the long run, requiring a special effort to upgrade, migrate, and/or maintain. Adapting the term to the management of integrated library systems, this presentation uses “technical debt” to describe challenges posed by legacy data upon migration to a new system. In our case, migration from Voyager to Alma exposed various forms of this debt: incurred as the result of constraints built into the Voyager environment; as a by-product of workflows geared toward transactional uses of the data but that prove ill-suited to needs for data in the aggregate; or because of a lack of continuity in processes and procedures over time. Alma's bulk jobs and API's present opportunities to manage this debt in a more holistic and efficient way, although other elements of Alma's design and of the migration process itself generate their own forms of technical debt (e.g., the impact on e-resource orders of the p2e process). This presentation will discuss concrete examples drawn from multiple functional areas, including acquisitions and e-resources, as well as strategies for correcting these problems (and their associated benefits and costs). By highlighting the ways in which technical debt creeps into our library systems, we hope to promote a focus on workflows that can reduce such debt in the future, ensuring the long-term sustainability of our data.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Event Title:ELUNA 2019 Annual Meeting
Divisions:ELUNA Conference Proceedings
ID Code:1933
Deposited By: Eluna Programs
Deposited On:19 Jun 2019 23:25
Last Modified:19 Jun 2019 23:25

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