Skip to main content

software maintenance

software maintenance The process of modifying a software system or component. There are three classes.

Perfective maintenance incorporates changes demanded by the user; these may, for example, be due to changes in requirements or legislation, or be for embedded applications in response to changes in the surrounding system. Adaptive maintenance incorporates changes made necessary by modifications in the software or hardware (operational) environment of the program, including changes in the maintenance environment. Corrective maintenance is the successful repair of faults discovered in the software.

Maintenance for software always involves a change in the software. This may be effected at the coding level, or may require significant changes in design. Regression testing of the software follows maintenance as part of a reverification and revalidation activity. Software maintenance is a prodigious source of new software faults, so good quality control through software engineering is essential.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"software maintenance." A Dictionary of Computing. . 23 Mar. 2019 <>.

"software maintenance." A Dictionary of Computing. . (March 23, 2019).

"software maintenance." A Dictionary of Computing. . Retrieved March 23, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.