What Is The Software Development Life Cycle?
Software development life cycle (SDLC) refers to the systematic process for building software to ensure accuracy. This structured framework promotes the production of low-cost, high-quality software in the shortest possible amount of time. SDLC defines several important phases that detail the software development process, including planning, building, deploying and maintaining steps. Software development life cycle was created to cover the complete lifecycle of software, from inception to product retirement.
Phases Of The Software Development Life Cycle
The development of custom software is not a quick process. The average software project can take four to nine months to design and develop; more complex projects may take even longer. When having custom software developed, it is important to become familiar with the unique software development life cycle and the steps that it entails.
The software development life cycle is essentially a collection of practices and rules used by developers and project stakeholders to transform an idea into a technical solution. Here is a closer look at the phases of the software development life cycle.
Information & Requirement Gathering
The first step in the software development life cycle involves preparation for the following steps. During this phase, relevant data and resources are gathered from the customer to begin the software planning process.
Developers must have a clear understanding of what the client needs in terms of features and functions. They must also know who the end user will be and the main purpose of the software.
After all ideas and requirements have been clearly expressed by the customer, a software requirement specification (SRC) document is created. The document must be clearly understood by the designers and should be reviewed by the customer to ensure that no mistakes have been made and no details overlooked. During the architecture design phase, the requirements that were gathered in the SRS document are used as an input.
Implementation & Coding Of Software
The implementation and coding of the software can begin as soon as the developer receives the design document. The developers assigned to the project will then take the software design and translate it into source code. During this important phase of the project, all components of the software are implemented. Depending on the size and complexity of the software, this phase of the project can take considerably longer than the others to complete.
Testing & QA
The next stage in the process is the testing and QA stage. Software testing begins once the coding is complete and the developers release the modules. At this phase, the software can be thoroughly tested to look for potential defects to be corrected. Having QA involved in the testing phase is critical to prevent wasted time and resources. During testing, QA will thoroughly test the software and may also write bug reports, test cases and keep track of all updates.
After the software has been tested, it is deployed and either goes live or to a production environment. In a case of user acceptance testing (UAT), the production environment is replicated and the developers, along with the customer, conduct testing. If the customer is satisfied with the performance of the software, it can then go live. If problems are found during this stage, it may need to go back to a previous stage to fix the errors.
Software requires continuous maintenance to keep it operating smoothly as well as to implement patches and updates.
Once the product has been deployed in the production environment, the maintenance of the software will begin. If any issues arise during the use of the product, they will need to be corrected. Any fixes and enhancements to the software after this point are taken care of by the developers.
The Software Development Life Cycle With The Agile Model
The agile model is essentially a combination of two models: the incremental and iterative models. The main difference is that the agile model focuses primarily on flexibility during development rather than on the requirement. Under the agile model, the product is divided into smaller incremental builds instead of developing the software all at once. In the agile model, iterations are terms in sprints that span about two to four weeks on average.
Reach Out To An Experienced Custom Software Development Company
When the software development life cycle is completed correctly, it can offer a high level of documentation and management control. The developers involved have a better understanding of what they need to build and the purpose of the build. The customer also plays a critical role in the process which can help prevent misunderstandings during development.
SDLC sets goals upfront and a clear path on how to reach these goals. To learn more about the custom software development life cycle or to speak with an experienced custom software development company, contact Orases by calling 301.756.5527 or by requesting a consultation online.