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What is Software Development Life Cycle And How It Works?

Author: Innotech Vietnam
Date: 22/05/2022

The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a step-by-step process software developers take when creating new software. In software development, it’s simple to make mistakes if you’re not well-versed in what you’re doing. This article will assist you in better understanding the Software Development Life Cycle and how it affects your whole project. 

 

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What is Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)? 

 

The SDLC is a set of clearly defined software development processes. Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) provides a framework for the design and construction of software applications. The SDLC helps in assuring that the final product meets the set standards for quality and performance  

The software development life cycle provides an efficient framework for a wide range of tasks, including planning, constructing (developing), and sustaining software programs. Additionally, it establishes a methodology for improving software quality.  There are several SDLC process models from which organizations may select an efficient software development strategy. 

Software engineers, developers, and cross-functional teams may all benefit from the SDLC. It’s a base that software developers and engineers rely on to come up with innovative ideas and designs. In order to make it work together across various phases of software development, cross-functional teams should adapt the SDLC. 

 

Why is Software Development Life Cycle important? 

 

An effective software development life cycle helps to minimize the enormous risks associated with today’s software development and design while also reducing the amount of time and money spent on future development cycles. Here are some significant benefits that software development life cycle can offer you: 

  • Offer an effective framework and methodology for creating software applications. 
  • Help in proper planning of the project before the real development begins.  
  • Cut down on wasteful expenses during the creation process. During the early stages of the project, developers can estimate the charges and predict pricey errors. 
  • Provide the tools needed to create high-quality software This is because they follow a systematic process that lets them test the software before it is released. 
  • Give a framework for evaluating the software’s performance. 

All in all, the SDLC helps an organization produce a high-quality product in a short period of time by utilizing the minimum amount of resources. 

 

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What Are The Stages Of The Software Development Life Cycle? 

 

Stage #1: Planning Stage 

Make sure you have an in-depth grasp of software development life cycle before we even begin the planning process. 

When a project is in the planning stage, developers begin to think about how they will carry it out. 

It enables you to define the problem and scope of current systems, as well as determine the goals for their new systems. 

Based on the detailed outline for the whole process, you’ll be able to detect problems before they have a chance to disrupt the software development process. 

In addition, you will be aware of the financial and material resources for the development. 

Most notably, the planning stage provides the project schedule, which is critical if the development is for a commercial product that must come to the market by a particular timeline. 

 

Stage #2: Feasibility or Requirements of Analysis Stage  

This phase is all about collecting the exact data needed to run the new system properly. This is what generally happens at this point: 

There must be a detailed study of possible software development to guarantee the product’s qualities are in line with client expectations. This stage also includes the completion of the Software Requirements Specification (SRS) document. In the SRS document, you will find:  

  • Requirements for software. 
  • Hardware requirements 
  • Demands on network 

These specifications make sure the entire software has all of the parts it needs to work properly. Before beginning development, the requirement analysis step ensures that all resources are availableble. It reduces the risk of costly last-minute decisions because everything is planned ahead of time. 

 

Stage #3: Design and Prototyping Stage 

The design stage is a precondition to the development stage.  

As a starting point, developers will lay down the software’s overall features, as well as its specific features, such as: 

  • User interfaces 
  • System interfaces 
  • Network and network requirements 
  • Databases 

You’ll usually reformat the SRS document into a more logical format that may then be implemented in a computer language. Developers will be provided with detailed plans for each stage of the cycle, including operation, training, and maintenance. 

After finishing, software development managers will prepare a design document that will be used throughout the rest of the SDLC process. 

 

Stage #4: Software Development Stage 

The development stage is where the software is coded. 

The developers will produce software in accordance with the system design principles and needed requirements, using the SDLC and SRS documentation. 

If the work in the earlier stages has been done well, this stage should be easy to finish because all the work to be done is on paper. 

Developers just need to make sure that all the requirements for the software are met. 

Developers will you different programming languages depending on the software’s specifications.  

To generate a high-quality product, the developers must have coding knowledge in the needed core languages. 

 

Stage #5: Software Testing Stage  

This stage is as important as the development stage. Testing is the final stage before a piece of software is released for use.  

When doing software testing, testers review the SRS document to ensure that the app’s functionality meets to the specified requirements. During the testing stage, the code is cross-checked for bugs that might affect how the application works. Once a bug has been found and fixed, the app is retested. The retesting process continues until the software’s performance meets the quality required in the SRS. Test times might range from weeks to months, depending on the scope of the software being tested. The following factors can influence the length of the testing period: 

  • Developers’ knowledge and expertise. 
  • The software’s complexity, with more complicated software development projects taking longer. 
  • The number of software requirements that must be completed. 

The project can move to the next step only if the acceptance testing is completed. 

 

Stage #6: Implementation and Integration Stage  

After testing, the overall design for the software will come together.   

Integrating numerous components into one final product application is what this process entails.  At this point, some unit testing is done to ensure that the various components are properly integrated and working together.  

If it meets all of the product specifications, it is ready for market release. 

  

Stage #7: Operations and Maintenance Stage  

The SDLC doesn’t end with the product’s release. The software development team will change to “maintenance mode”. Their responsibility now is to react immediately to any problems that may arise. 

Following are a few examples of maintenance tasks: 

  • Finding and fixing bugs that were unnoticed prior to the software’s release. 
  • Troubleshooting difficulties that customers are experiencing and reporting. 
  • Improve and upgrade operating systems in order to match the changing need and expectations of the market. 

 

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Software Development Life Cycle Models 

  

1. Agile model 

The agile methodology is an iterative and dynamic SDLC model. Within a fixed time frame, many teams work together to accomplish a specific goal in the production of an object. This strategy frequently involves the use of DevOps teams. The methodology is well-known for producing high-quality softwares since it includes continual upgrading of the product even while it is in development stage. Additional, it is flexible to make any changes. 

  • Strength: The ongoing iterative software development process assures high-quality software. Troubleshooting and solution proposing become considerably easier when diverse team members collaborate. It speeds up the software development process and eases the integration stage when having modifications. 
  • Weakness: It will only work if you have a team of experienced developers. They need to be adaptable in order to work well with others and to adopt any changes that arise. If you’re not used to working with the agile model, you may find that the iteration process gets off track and delays the software development stage. 

  

2. Waterfall model. 

Among the models on this list, it is the oldest. The development process is a progressive and logical one. It provides detailed instructions for each stage, and each stage must be finished before the next one can be started.  

  • Strength: It’s easy to follow because the steps are clearly laid out. And also much easier to complete a stage if it has a clearly defined goal. 
  • Weakness: It’s rigid and doesn’t provide a lot of room for shifting. Any changes made afterward will have an impact on the finished ones. It is also more expensive and time-consuming than other models. 

 

3. Iterative model 

The product application in development is continuously improved and repeatedly tested in an iterative methodology. This model follows some parts of the Waterfall model too.

  • Strength: Software development is more efficient when it’s done continuously. It is also adaptable, making it easy to make adjustments. The model focuses on the consumer. End-users will find it simple to utilize the product thanks to this technology. 
  • Weakness: However, there are a number of drawbacks, including the need for extensive research and a high level of client engagement. 

 

4. Spiral model 

The Spiral model follows the same Waterfall segments: requirements, design, implementation, testing, and release. These steps are then divided into three groups: planning, risk assessment, and prototype development. Using this model is the most common approach for large and complicated projects. 

  • Strength: It gives accurate cost estimates, the scope of the project, and the time it will take to complete it. This model also makes it possible to discover problems early on, so they can be fixed right away. It also guarantees that all stakeholders are on the same page in the software development process. 
  • Weakness: It takes a long time to complete a stage, and it takes longer to go to the next one. Additionally, this model is expensive since a proper risk assessment of the product application under development necessitates the involvement of a team of specialists. 

 

5. V-model 

The V-model resembles the Waterfall model in many ways. The V stands for verification and validation, an extension of the Waterfall model. After each software development step, there is a testing phase. It helps to catch problems early on so developers fix them. 

  • Strength: Defined stage objectives make it simple to execute. Each stage of the project is tested to ensure that it can go to the next phase without errors. Early detection and correction of bugs is also a notable strength of this model. 
  • Weakness: When adopting the V-model, it is difficult and expensive to make changes to the product requirements. 

 

6. Big bang model 

There is no more versatile model than the big bang. It doesn’t adhere to process models since it doesn’t require a comprehensive plan. Developers typically begin a project with only the funds and resources necessary to develop the first concept. 

  • Strength: It’s a great tool for brainstorming, especially if the customer isn’t sure what they want. You can also use this model to test out new ideas and concepts that could be useful in future projects. 
  • Weakness: The final software product may not be what customers expected to receive; especially if the customer isn’t clear on what they want to achieve. 

 

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How Can You Tell If Your Company’s Software Development Lifecycle Process Is Effective? 

 

For this question, we need additional information about your business and what you’re aiming to achieve. No two businesses are alike, so what works for one may not work for another.  

What’s the ultimate goal? You can determine SDLC processes by concrete results, such as completed user stories or the detection of a bug that has been fixed (via traceability).  

The key is to document all the steps in the process at each stage. This helps you to develop a relevant report and analysis of any project management flaws. Also, ask yourself: “Were we able to get everything done with our available resources?”. 

To find out if your company’s SDLC process is effective, you must first define the metrics of that efficiency. Once you have outlined what needs to be done or what problems need to be solved, you may assess the operations and compare them to your expected results. 

 

You may find your way to assess your software development project here: SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT KPIS: HOW TO MEASURE YOUR TEAM’S EFFICIENCY? 

 

Conclusion 

 

When it comes to creating high-quality software, the software development life cycle is an invaluable resource. This tool provides a framework for directing software engineers through the development process. Various SDLC methodologies are available, including waterfall, V-model, iterative, spiral, and agile models. 

Customer needs and the goals of a business might guide the selection of an appropriate SDLC model. Understanding the customer’s needs and adhering to the written plan are the keys to implementing SDLC in software development. 

At Innotech, we have the most dedicated software development team to cater to all your needs. If you are looking for a software development team that can meet all your high expectations, contact us now!  

 

 

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