Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
Application development has never been simple, and it will never be. Because the goal is to make application development as simple as possible, there are various types of websites and tools for application development available today; however, if we are talking about applications developed to meet the specific needs of clients, this method of application development will not suffice.
Smaller, simpler applications can be classified as such development. However, large and complex applications, of which there are many more today, necessitate a team of developers, better organization, and a more serious approach to the development itself.
The SDLC, or Software Development Life Cycle, is a set of specific steps that must be completed to develop successful and high-quality applications. The advantage of this approach is that each step represents a component of the application’s development, which can be further subdivided into smaller tasks for developers. This makes it easier to follow the software application’s development process. SDLC is also referred to as the software development process.
What is SDLC?
A process that initially solves a large number of problems is required for successful and high-quality application development. The most common issues are application development deadlines, quality, and application development costs.
SDLC’s goal is to create a high-quality application that meets all of the client’s requirements while staying within all application development deadlines and costs. Because the SDLC provides a detailed application development plan, which includes an assessment of the shortest time required for application development, it ensures that the application’s quality is high in the end and that the price remains within the appropriate range as initially agreed with the client. As a result, SDLC solves all of the most common problems encountered during professional application development.
SDLC is also a method or standard for evaluating and improving the application development process. IT companies use SDLC as part of their project management processes. Each step contributes to the efficiency of application development and thus aids the IT company in its implementation.
How does SDLC work?
One of the goals is to reduce application development time as much as possible. By dividing tasks into sections, all redundancy is eliminated, and there is little room for wasting time. As a result, a more accurate estimate for the final project deadline can be made, and the development speed is significantly increased.
At any time, the client can see how far the project has progressed and whether everything is going according to plan or if some changes are required. SDLC gives the IT company and the client complete control over the application development process from beginning to end.
To make all of this possible, the IT company must employ one of the SDLC’s software development methodologies. For software development, the Agile and Waterfall methodologies are most commonly used.
The SDLC is typically divided into seven steps; however, depending on the project manager, the project may have fewer or more steps. SDLC should follow these seven steps:
- Defining requirements
- Design and prototyping
- Software development
The most important phase is the planning phase, which is where everything starts. It is critical to get everything right during this phase so that the rest of the process runs as smoothly as possible.
A meeting with the client is scheduled to gather all of the information about what the client expects from the project. This stage encompasses all aspects of project and product management. Typically, information is gathered about who the end user will be and what the project’s overall goal will be. Typically, business analysts and project managers attend this meeting with the client.
During the planning phase, information is gathered not only from the client but also from all project stakeholders. A stakeholder is anyone who benefits from the project.
2. Defining requirements
The following step is to develop software requirements and get them approved by project stakeholders. To accomplish this, a Software Requirements Specification (SRS) document is created, which should include all of the requirements that will be developed.
The SRS document is used to determine the resources required to meet the project’s requirements and to estimate the cost. This phase determines not only what is required for the project, but also what is not.
3. Design and prototyping
The goal of this phase is to determine in detail how the project’s software application will function. All of the information gathered in the previous two phases is grouped. The platform and technologies to be used in the project have been decided. The user interface, or how the user will interact with the application, has been defined.
Following the selection of a platform and technology, the method of communication with other services, servers, and instances is defined. Depending on the project, consideration is given to how the protection will be implemented and what security measures are required to protect the software application.
During the design phase, a software application prototype is typically created. A prototype is an alpha version of an application that contains some basic functionality or design elements. A prototype is created to visually demonstrate the basic idea of how the application looks and functions to stakeholders. This is done to provide stakeholders with more detailed feedback, which will aid in future development. Without the prototype phase, creating the same application would take much more time, patience, and money because many things would have to be changed during the development phase. All of these issues can be resolved during the design phase.
4. Software development
Programming can begin during the software development phase. The number of developers may vary depending on the project’s complexity. Some projects can be completed by a single developer, while others may necessitate the collaboration of several developers.
The development team adheres to the design and focuses on coding. To track code changes, a central repository is established. An important first step in working in a team is to ensure that all team members have tool compatibility so that everyone is fully synchronized without any unnecessary deviations.
The SDLC’s longest phase is software development. Errors are fixed and problems that arise during development are resolved during this phase. Tasks are frequently delayed due to a variety of factors such as test results. The developer must wait for the test results before proceeding with development or corrections, and the software tester must wait for the developer to build a specific part before testing it. SDLC solves these problems so that the development team can work on other tasks during each wait to avoid wasting time.
The testing phase is becoming more prevalent in smaller software applications, as well as larger and more complex ones. Application testing is critical before making the application available to users because it ensures that the application will function as expected.
Depending on the requirements, testing can be either manual or automated. Various bugs or defects may be discovered during the testing phase, in which case developers are instructed to fix them so that the code remains clean and the application functions properly. The process is then repeated, with the developers submitting a new version of the application for testing until all of the tests are marked as successful.
Testing eliminates many problems that users might encounter, increasing user satisfaction and thus making the application more easily accepted by users.
This is the stage at which the application is officially made available to users. The application is ready for deployment once the testing phase is completed successfully. The deployment phase can be simple or complex, depending on the application’s purpose and the client’s needs. If the deployment is done from the beginning, it can be simple. However, if it is an upgrade of some existing systems, it can be complex and time-consuming.
Following the completion of the deployment phase, the maintenance phase begins. The application is regularly used by the user during this phase, and its performance is monitored. There are rare cases where all bugs are discovered during the testing phase, which is why the maintenance phase is important because it allows users to discover new bugs and provide feedback. They are then removed, and a new patched version of the application is made available.
What software development methodologies are used in SDLC?
SDLC employs many methodologies. These methodologies are frequently referred to as Software Development Process Models. Each model includes several steps that facilitate the software development process.
The following are some of the most popular SDLC models or methodologies:
- Agile Model
- Waterfall Model
- V Model
- Lean Model
- Spiral Model
- Iterative Model
- DevOps Model
- Big Bang Model
What are the benefits of SDLC?
The most significant advantage of the SDLC is that it establishes a common goal for all participants, while each participant understands exactly what his role is in achieving the final goal. It enables participants to collaborate to create a plan, divide roles, and begin implementing the plan in such a way that each participant’s work is maximized. SDLC can be adapted to any situation where the software needs to be developed due to the various software development methodologies.
Without the SDLC, the software development process would be less disciplined, significantly more complex, prone to errors, and fail to communicate effectively among participants.
When it comes to professional software development, all participants must have a clear understanding of what is being done and when it is being done. The role hierarchy within the SDLC is also important. Although all members participate in discussions, final decisions are made by members with higher hierarchical roles. The SDLC provides the client with real-time visibility into the status of the project.
As time passes, the SDLC improves and adopts more modern models, such as DevOps. This is a trend that will almost certainly continue, as it is both normal and necessary to keep up with modern software application development.
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