Rapid advancements in technology are making their way into almost every facet of life. The overall demand for highly complex and sophisticated software solutions has made businesses around the world look for assistance from a reliable custom software development company. Upon hiring expert assistance from a reputed SaaS application development company, businesses can look forward to creating next-gen solutions for meeting specific utility and application requirements.
The core fundamental of any software development project is following a systematic approach to meet the end-to-end enterprise software development process. With a well-organized process in place, professional software development teams are capable of exploring revolutionary and innovative alternatives for meeting the customers’ objectives.
Understanding the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
For understanding the SDLC, it is imperative to understand the Software Development process in the first place. In simpler terms, it can be said that the software development process is concerned with dividing the software development process into smaller, sequential steps for enhancing the project, design, and the entire product. It also comprises the iterative phases of logical processes necessary for software or application development to meet the demands of individual organizations. The entire process is referred to as ‘Software Development.’
We know that software developers make use of cutting-edge software development tools for creating a specific code for application or software development. However, coding is only one component of the overall software development life cycle or process. The entire software development life cycle is known to feature ideation, research, documenting, coding, testing, debugging, deployment, and updating. All of these processes are utilized by the software industry.
The software industry makes use of SDLC intricately. This is because it helps in the production of high-quality software for meeting customer expectations and performing rapid application development for completing within the given cost and time estimates.
Importance of SDLC or Software Development Life Cycle
SDLC can be regarded as the process of planning, developing, testing, and deploying. The life cycle is mostly regarded as the waterfall model. This is because it tends to cascade from the processes of the feasibility study to systems analysis, systems design, implementation, thorough testing, and finally, installation and maintenance of the entire system. While there are several benefits of ensuring the SDLC for a software development project, here are some you should know about:
· In SDLC, projects are designed with utmost clarity: project personnel is not capable of going from one stage to another until a significant step is finished. Moreover, the particular stage is also expected to be signed off by the project manager. At the end of every stage, there is the requirement of the development of a formal review. This allows the project manager to ensure maximum control for ensuring effective management.
· SDLC helps in making clear the specific goal or objective. It becomes easier to get ahead of yourself on some large-scale project. With SDLC, it becomes easier to observe the common problems and the objectives such that the plan gets executed with relevance and precision.
· With SDLC, the project gets properly tested before its implementation. In the case of SDLC, the project installation assures necessary checks and balances. It is done to ensure that the project is tested thoroughly with ultimate precision before entering the installation stage.
· Upon the left of an important project member, a new member can consider picking up exactly where he or she must have left. The SDLC offers you a well-documented and well-structured paper-based trail of the entire project. As such, you can find that the project is complete with records of all the occurrences.
· Without the presence of SDLC, the loss of some project members could set you entirely back while delivering the potential of ruining the project. In case the paperwork is missing or incomplete, the new project member will have to commence everything from the beginning. The possibilities are that the project member might even have to change the entire project to make sense out of it. When you have access to a well-designed SDLC, everything comes in proper order such that the new project member can continue with the process without any complications.
· When deliverables are updated and finished within the budget and on schedule, the project manager can appropriately manage the project using SDLC. When you stick to a particular budget, it becomes easier to work with a well-organized plan. In the given plan, you can observe the overall costs and timetables. Project managers can look forward to submitting the work to some integrated system for flagging anything past due.
When the project manager is capable of spending less time on micro-managing, he or she can consider spending more time improving the overall production and efficiency.
· The project can go forward with continuously looping around until it becomes perfect. The different stages of SDLC are meant to provide feedback into the previous or earlier stages. Therefore, the SDLC model helps in providing the project with ample flexibility.
· Upon designing and implementing a project, the software development life cycle is the ultimate solution. It is one of the most effective methods for assuring optimal control, minimizing difficulties, and allowing the project manager to assure output without having to micromanage the various project participants.
Important Stages of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
If you are a project manager, you might already be aware of the different stages involved in the software development process. As the project manager, you are required to think about everything, from requirements collecting through communication with stakeholders, software product creation, and continuing maintenance.
Let us help you understand the different core stages of developing a software product with the help of SDLC or Software Development Life Cycle.
#Requirement Analysis and Resource Planning
The first step to any core process is to ensure in-depth planning. When you are project manager, you are expected to conduct a requirement analysis of the entire project. However, you will require assistance from the software engineering specialists to come up with a detailed software development plan for the project.
You are required to analyze whether or not the given software development project aligns with the respective goals and objectives of your business or organization. This is referred to as requirement analysis. The main objective of any software product is to ensure that tasks become easier. As a result, you should investigate the specific items that you intend to improve and how the software product in question will assist you in doing so.
After this is achieved, you are expected to allocate specific resources for the software development process. You are required to analyze what specific type of resources you will need for completing the software development project. At this point, you may begin planning the number of software engineers, project managers, technologies, tools, and designers needed to complete the project. Then, you will be expected to come up with a flexible yet sensible budget for the project.
When you are planning for the software product, you should look into:
· Alignment: How is the given project connected to the larger mission and objectives of your company?
· Project Scheduling: How will the provided project fit within the company’s goals and other related tasks?
· Availability and Allocation of Resources: Do you have access to the necessary teams and tools for completing the project?
· Estimation of Costs: How much is the entire project going to cost?
The planning phase of the software development process entails you are starting with the correct steps. Therefore, it is vital to make sure that you include all essential departments that will have an impact on the given project –including software developers, project managers, security teams, key stakeholders, and operations teams.
As you reach the end of the planning phase, you should include ample information for coming up with a high level of SOW or Scope of Work. It is a dedicated plan for detailing what has been built, how, and why you are seeing it coming together.
As you would move out of the planning phase of the software development process, you are expected to inquire about particular specifications of the project, including:
· What type of data input or output is required?
· What problem is the product going to solve?
· How are you going to handle privacy or security?
· Will, there be a requirement to integrate with other APIs or tools?
· Who is going to use the product and why?
Once the software development team is well-aware of the answers to the given questions, they can begin with scoping out specific technical requirements, terms related to testing, and deciding on the technology stack. The given phase also involves deciding wherein you want to commence sprint planning or breaking down complicated tasks into simpler, actionable steps.
#Design & Prototyping
Once the analysis and planning part is done, you can now start over with the creation of the dedicated software architecture for the given product. The given design or architecture will help in defining the complete workflow of the given software. As far as the software is concerned, the given design is not associated with the overall looks. Additionally, there is importance on the overall functioning as well as user experience of the system or software.
You play a crucial part in the software design process as you are required to explain to the software designers what exactly you want out of the program. You can look forward to defining how the users will interact with the software product or application. The designers will be responsible for designing simpler wireframes for showing the given interactions with the help of lucrative tools like InVision and Adobe. If there is a requirement, you can also ensure complete prototypes for displaying each & every functionality of the given product.
During this stage, you can analyze whether or not there are specific drawbacks or the absence of any features. You may quickly ensure adjustments in the given phase while restarting work after everything is finalized.
#Development of the Software
Development during the software development life cycle commences only when you are sure of the existing requirements while being onboard with the features and designs. The development team will start working on the development of the program by putting in the necessary code.
The development process is carried out in different ways depending on the specific software requirements. You can understand the same in the software development life cycle models.
The development stage is the riskiest and the most complicated stage of the entire process. However, when you take help from a reliable software development company, you can easily understand specific requirements while developing a product up to the respective expectations of the clients.
Whether you are building out the MVP or working with Agile models or using the highly conventional waterfall method, the ultimate goal is to stick to the main objective of the software development life cycle process. It is important to come up with a clean and efficient software solution.
It serves to be a continuous process for the development of a software product. Testing of the software product is done along with the development process. Testing is carried out for checking the overall usability, functionality, and stability of the software product under the process of rapid software development.
With most reputed software development companies, you can come across a team of QA or Quality Assistance experts or testers for delivering reliable web development services. The team is responsible for testing every single piece of code developed by the respective software development team. This may be done both manually and with the use of automatic tools for determining if there are any flaws or errors.
Later on, bugs or errors are fixed by adding or changing new code to the original piece of code. It is ensured that the final product is running smoothly on the given devices. Moreover, the end product should also have all the necessary functionalities and features as required.
It is another crucial stage in the software development process. Once the coding and testing processes are complete, the next stage is concerned with the deployment of the software product on the important devices and servers. The given process is executed only once the approval of the product has been given concerning the stability and functionality of the software product.
Most of the time, the software product is imparted the Alpha release. In the given case, a smaller group of users will be using the product while delivering their feedback. Once the feedback has been analyzed, modifications to the product are done to the product. After this, there occurs the Beta release. Now, more users will be having access to the software product.
#Maintenance and Updates
Software development can be regarded as a proper cycle. It serves to be an iterative process of end-to-end software development. Once the product has been launched, the process of software development life cycle is not yet complete. You are expected to maintain a track of in=depth software maintenance while upgrading the same from time to time. You should ensure monitoring the software product consistently. Moreover, you can also consider suggesting changes as per the requirement.
The given stage is executed because technology keeps on advancing in the modern era. For keeping up with the given changes, it is required that the software product should be updated from time to time. Over time, users will have different requirements. Moreover, users’ feedback also plays a vital role in coming up with future updates for the software product.
Finally, it is crucial to come up with a software product that is easily scalable for future scale-down and scale-ups as per the changing requirements and trends.
Important Models for Software Development Life Cycle
#The Waterfall Model
It is one of the most traditional software development models out there. The approach is also referred to as the Classic life cycle or sequential model. In its basic form, you can consider the waterfall model to be following the SDLC steps in sequence. You are expected to finish every step sequentially before you move to the next one.
In the most practical aspect, the process of the Waterfall model is best recommended for large-scale organizations. The organizations that require detailed documentation and sign-offs on the entire scope and requirements before the starting of the project can make use of the waterfall model.
The only drawback of the model is that it lacks proper flexibility. You will not be capable of creating prototypes of MVPs with the model.
#Prototyping Development Model
In the given scenario, the development team will be coming up with a proper prototype of the final software product for the end-users. The prototype version is used for receiving feedback from the users while checking the feasibility and usability of the design.
In case some issues come along the way of developing the software product with this model, they can be easily noted and resolved at the same time. Such issues or problems do not end up finding their way into the final product.
The particular model is used when you are unsure of what the users might or might not like. This will offer the developers an opportunity to conduct in-depth risk analysis before launching the product into the market. With prototyping, you are involved with the thorough process of the design and development stages of software development.
#Agile Software Development Model
It is a highly dynamic and iterative software development model. Therefore, there are fewer errors in the final product.
Agile implies faster development. The development team can easily execute changes to the initial plans. Moreover, this model can be utilized for all types of software development projects. It is found that Agile software development has its applications in different fields, including Big Data and Artificial Intelligence.
With agile software development, there is no requirement for a proper list of specifications. You can go forward with exploring and finding out more as you go ahead with the development process. There is no requirement of developing the entire set of functionalities in a single go. This will save you from putting in significant efforts that might go to waste.
Agile processes come forth with iterative and flexible approaches. Here, there is constant involvement for understanding the mindset, implementing project risk assessment, and bringing about process improvement.
#Incremental Development Model
The idea is to come up with smaller pieces of software while testing them on the users for receiving ample feedback. You can consider it as a series of mini-waterfall models.
In this development model, the entire set of phases related to the waterfall model is completed way before advancing to the next increment. In the given stage, every increment serves to be a new feature or functionality that gets added to the product. The same is tested and validated. Then, it is moved to another increment.
If you want more flexibility than the standard waterfall paradigm, consider using the increment software development methodology. The method helps let you know about the perspective of the users on the core features of the software product. In case you have a long-term, rigid plan for the software technology, you should refrain from using the incremental software development model.
There is the development of a single version of the software product featuring a set of functionalities and features. In the subsequent step, you will release another version to deliver as feedback to the users. Ultimately, you will upgrade the features.
With the help of a reliable custom software development company, you can design the software product based on your specific requirements.