An Inside Look at the Software Development Life Cycle

In the modern society that we live in, software and mobile apps have become a driving force in almost every aspect of our daily lives. Software has become a tool that drives business decision making, the basis of scientific investigation, as well as engineering problem solving. It is important to note that computer software is embedded in almost every kind of digital-based system, including important industry systems like transportation, telecommunication, medical, and industrial processes. software development life cycle sdlc

The software development life cycle (SDLC) is a term used in software engineering, systems engineering and information systems to refer to all aspects software production. This includes the development stages from system specification, maintenance and possibly retirement of the software.

There are several software development methodologies that are employed to guide the processes and some of the examples include, waterfall model, build and fix model, rapid application model (RAD), spiral model among others. Regardless of the model chosen during the software development, documentation is very crucial and is usually done in line with the development process.

Before a certain project is undertaken, the type of model used for its development should be considered carefully as some methodologies work best for certain projects. Usually in the final analysis, the success of any project lies solely on the particular plan that was followed.

In general, software development life cycle (SDLC) methodology follows a set of laid down rules as follows:

Requirement Determination Phase

In this initial phase of software development, several stages are considered. Problem definition is the starting point to building a system by perceiving a problem that needs a solution in an already existing system. Some other reason could be to improve some aspect of the organization for instance speeding up the rate of customer service.

A feasibility study is often carried out during this phase to define the problem and defining the several alternatives that exist for a desired system. By so doing, it will be established whether the proposed system will in fact bring about the desired advantages that are expected. Thereafter, a requirement analysis is carried out to organize the facts that result from the requirement acquisition into a more structured form.

Specification Phase

The specification phase specifies what the system is required to accomplish and this includes the plans laid out concerning its physical construction, the required capacity of the system, compatibility needs with other systems, programming, operating systems as well as security issues. Also at this phase, the specification documents must be very clear, complete and correct and must be well understood by both the client as well as the design team.

Software Development & Design Phase

The design stage is very crucial; it is at this phase that the software development and design is developed which represents the blueprint of the final product. The design focuses on four major areas of concern and this involves data, architecture, interfaces and components. Each software design product is reviewed by both the client and the development company before moving to the next stage of software development.

Software Implementation & Integration

Implementation refers to the translation of the detailed design into code and it is usually done by teams working together at the same time but on different components of the project. At this stage, the software developer provides additional documentation for maintenance support. The integration refers to the combination of the several modules and ascertaining that the complete system functions as intended.

Software Testing Phase

Testing of a final product is done to ensure the software quality which its major intention is to ascertain the extent to which a piece of software meets its specifications. Ideally, testing is done all throughout the entire software process and not until prior to its delivery to a client.

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