The Software Development Life Cycle, also known as SDLC, helps you understand the process of creating high-quality software. The life cycle of software development includes analyzing the requirements, planning, architecture design, software development, testing, and deploying. When you are learning the methodology of software development, you need to go through all of these. To help you understand each process better, we have created this post. Examine it and feel free to ask us any questions.
What is SDLC? How Does it Work?
SDLC, or software development life cycle, is the process of creating software in a time frame and at an affordable cost. SDLC refers to a well-defined course of phases that assist developers in creating software fast and in a secure manner. Testing and preparing the application ready for use is also a part of the SDLC method. Let’s find out how this method works.
SDLC means a low-cost application development method that, however, advances the quality of development and shortens the production time. SDLC follows a software development plan that ensures the smoothness of the project and seamless production. The SDLC in the initial stage evaluates the existing systems for deficiencies and sorts out the requirements of the development project. Then it includes analysis, planning, designing, testing, and deployment to complete the development process.
SDLC can predict errors in situations like sending requests to the end-user or client in the development cycle and reduce them in real-time. In the software development life cycle, the strong focus is on the testing stage. But you will have to ensure the quality of the code throughout the life cycle of the application. Still, if you spend some time on the testing stage, then it will help you save more time as well as money that requires doing rework on the project. However, if you dig deeper into the importance of the software development life cycle, then you will know why your company needs it.
What is the Importance of Software Development Life Cycle?
If you don’t follow a proper software development plan, then your development cycle won’t be systematic and disciplined. When your software development team has a plan, then all of the members will know what to do next and where they are going with the project. Otherwise, the whole scene will be hazardous. For example, your project development has been divided into multiple parts, and different members of the team have different tasks assigned to them. The executive who has assigned the roles has the freedom to choose the most suitable people for the task. And the members also have the freedom to complete the tasks in their best and most appropriate way. The tasks will go on in this way: member A will write the codes for this software development, member B will prepare the test documents, member C will work on the design of the software, and so on. But if you go on like this, the project might fail to achieve the best results if there is no proper plan involved.
The software development life cycle determines the entry and exit timing of every stage in the development project. You can only start a project when its entry phase is completed but if you are not using an SDLC model, then you won’t be able to recognize the start or existing criteria of the software program. And in that case, the software project manager is unable to control the growth of the project. That’s why going through each stage of the software development life cycle is important.
What are the Top Stages of SDLC?
Here we will break down the 7 most important stages of the software development life cycle and how they benefit a project. Here are the phases in a nutshell:
- Requirements analysis
- Software development
- Software testing
- Implementation or deployment
Before you learn about the planning stage, you need to be prepared for the other stages that come thereafter, because this is the beginner stage of software development. The planning stage is also known as the feasibility stage, and its job is to help developers plan for the entire development project. Here the problem is defined (for which you are participating in the project creation) and what it would take to come up with a determined solution. Here the team members also determine the objectives of the new project. In the planning stage, the team members should devise a plan to detect any technical or physical problems that arise during the other stages of the project. This will allow the members to reduce the risk of rework and also catch any errors before they occur, as well as secure the resources and funding required to complete the project. The feasibility stage also schedules the project so that the productivity between the team members increases and the project is released to the market within a time frame.
The analysis stage of software development involves sorting out all the ideas and small details of the project and deciding on the first prototype of the system. At this stage, the developers have to define the requirements of the first prototype, find alternatives to the existing prototypes, work on the research and analysis that will uncover the customers’ or users’ demands, etc. Moreover, at this stage, the developers generate an SRS document or specifications of the software program requirements. Here you will find the specification of the software as well as its hardware and software components, network requirements, and so on related to the project. This stage will help the developers use the right amount of resources while working with the other members of the development team.
3. Design Stage
The design stage leads to the main development stage, and here the developers configure the user interfaces, system interfaces, network requirements, databases, and other aspects of the project. The SRS document will become a well-structured document that the developers can implement with the help of a programming language. In the design stage, employment, instruction, and maintenance will be thoroughly administered so that the programmers know what they should do during every other stage of the software development life cycle in the future. Once the design stage is clear to the developers, they will create an outline and a document that will serve as a reference throughout the rest of the development process.
4. Development Stage
According to the design plan or design document and outlined specifications, developers write the code for the software at this stage. This is the step where the real work of building the application commences. And this is the stage where they use Static Application Security Testing, or SAST, tools to make their project better. The codes are written according to the design document designation planned earlier. Moreover, the previous stages of the software development process were created to make this stage straightforward and clear.
The company will define the coding guidelines and ask the developers to follow them, as well as debuggers, compilers, interpreters, and other tools. At this stage, the developers use programming languages such as C++, Python, etc. to start the development process. Based on the specifications and requirements of the project, the developers will have to choose the most appropriate codes.
After creating the software, it comes time to test it to ensure that it is working without any bugs. The testing stage is recognized as the most significant one in the SDLC because it determines whether the user experience is negatively or positively influenced. At this stage, the developers examine their software thoroughly to make sure there are no bugs, and if any are detected, they will be tracked and fixed immediately. Then the developers will test the application again soon. Testing is important because the application needs to meet the quality standard that was outlined in the SRS document.
The overall design of the software will be implemented after the testing stage, and here multiple designs or modules will be combined into the primary source code. Developers will work on detecting errors or bugs in the source codes and in other aspects of the project’s development. Implementation is also known as deployment, where the application finds an environment and developers successfully install the project. If the stage is passed successfully, the team will work to market the software and provide it to the target users.
7. The Maintenance Stage
The software development plant does not end when the software finds its target audience. Developers should move the project into the maintenance mode where they will regularly cater to the user’s needs, such as releasing updates from time to time to reduce bugs and glitches. If the users are not happy with the software quality, then the developers must prepare themselves to come up with new specifications to meet the users’ requirements. Along with increasing users, the project will require more maintenance plans.
To conclude, any IT industry benefits largely from implementing the software development life cycle plan as it simplifies the whole software development process. But before you go for the SDLC in the future, make sure your team is experienced and dedicated enough to invest as much time as needed in the project development.
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