A Complete Guide to Software Development
Topic: Software Development | By Lex data
What Is Included?
- What is Software Development?
- Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
- Importance of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
- Key Features of Using SDLC
- Phases of Software Development Life Cycle
- Phase 1: Requirement Analysis
- Phase 2: Feasibility Study
- Phase 3: Design
- Phase 4: Coding
- Phase 5: Testing
- Phase 6: Installation / Deployment
- Phase 7: Maintenance
- Software development: How Lex Data’s experienced full-stack developers can help?
What is Software Development?
“Software development refers to a set of Information technology activities dedicated to the process of creating, designing, deploying and supporting software.”
Software development is an exhausting process that includes the design and development of software. The word “technology” brings many things to our minds, and software is one of them. No doubt, the software is the essence of technology, and advancement in this technology implies better software designs.
In this guide, we will explore all the stages involved in the development of software, whether it is a CRM, Portal, and App, or any other specialized software.
Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
To build a useful, efficient, and best quality software, a systematic process consisting of various phases is followed, which is known as Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). It is a structural way for every development team that aims to produce error-free, risk-free and perfect products, and according to the client’s requirement.
The main focus at this stage for the front and back end Engineers is to foresee, en-circle, and list likely issues and problems that the user may face and possible solutions on offer.
SDLC generates a complete plan of building, coding, deployment, maintenance with the allocation of given resources. Moreover, it also covers that what should be the input and output of each SDLC phase with proper time-span, manpower, and available resources.
Importance of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
By following the SDLC step users, and software developers can view or have a mind map that how things could work throughout the whole process. The activities at each step are deliberated. It is helpful for both the user and developer to view each step and contribute, make or remake the process, improve design, create or suggest modification in designs etc.
Key Features of Using SDLC:
Foundation: It acts as a base for procedural steps of planning, scheduling, or estimating the cost, human or other resources.
Framework: It is a layout of activities involved in the development life cycle and tracks the deliverables with respect to time.
Observable: A technique of keeping in view the whole development process with controlled inputs and outputs at specific steps of the Development Life Cycle.
Pace: Pace can be increased or decreased as per the client’s requirements keeping in mind the budget, development team, or other design issues.
Reactions: Clients and end-users can also be involved and particular steps for better professional relations and their feedback.
Risks: By following this structure most risks and management issues can be easily solved even before their occurrence.
Phases of Software Development Life Cycle
The whole process of SDLC is divided into seven phases due uniqueness and difference of certain things. SDLC phases are as follow;
Phase 1: Requirement Analysis
Phase one is also known as “Requirement Engineering”. It is a process that involves understanding the client’s and end user’s expectations from the end product. The main question developers ask at this stage is that “What it is that the business wants its user to do with the Application”?. I.e. book an appointment, measure distance, store date (CRM), retrieve data, generate logs etc, it could be anything . This stage also includes possible conflicts within available products and impact on wider society it may have.
A major challenge in this phase is to pull out the actual vision of the user about the final product. Because the end-user is the one who is going to interact with the product in the end.
Activities Included In Requirement Analysis Product
Success or Failure of a software product is generally heavily dependent at this initial stage of product analysis. The requirements of the end-user and goals must be attainable, measurable, and implementable and must be validated related to actual user needs. Furthermore, there must be relevant and promising details about all the requirements.
Following are the four types of software development activities involved in the requirement analysis phase;
Requirement Obtaining: It is also known as “Requirement Gathering”. This process includes communication with users to obtain their actual requirements so that they can be implemented at a later stage.
Requirement Analyzing: After user requirements are gathered they are further analyzed for clarity, ambiguity, inadequacy, or conflicts to coping the issues at the initial level.
Requirement Modeling: Analyzed requirements are then processed to modeling in form of use-cases, natural-language documents. This step specifies and creates detailed information on user requirements.
Review and Retrospective: This process starts after the first iteration of the requirements phase. Improvements are suggested in the current documentation. This is the most suitable phase for suggestions and thoughts for a better product, as later phases involve some complexities at each step further.
Some Requirements are listed as follow:
- Carrying out client’s requirements
- Analysis of the requirements and testifying its implementation status
- Look for technical resources and budget
- Distribute tasks to relevant teams
- Create a fine schedule with restrictions
- Define System Functionalities in Detail
Phase 2: Feasibility Study
The feasibility study includes whether provided details of the customer can be implemented, are they practical? First, we check either developing software meets the organizational needs. Second, we look for feasible technology to implement within the given budget. Thirdly, we consider whether that product can be integrated with other applications.
Types of Feasibility Study:
- Economic Feasibility
- Operational Feasibility
- Technical Feasibility
- Organizational Feasibility
- Social Feasibility
Phase 3: Design
At this stage, the information collected so far is converted into a meaningful full design. The design generated provides, the client and the end-user a sneak peek of the end product. It is important to keep in mind that design will be kept on changing or better word is improving. There will be a variety of versions produced before settling with the final version of the design, keeping in mind the User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) mind, this includes the functions, behaviors, detailed information on screen layouts of design view etc.
Important decisions are made at this level for the functional behaviors of the software product. An initial design structure is carried out and after necessary changes and relevant suggestions, it is transformed into a final product design with essential details and annotations.
Decisions of Design Phase
From product design, some important decisions are made. Such as,
- Which particular type of Database Management System will fulfill the end user’s needs?
- How Security standards should be established?
- How the User Interface will look like?
- Are requirements and data can be captured?
- How each step should be reported and documented?
- How the team will navigate through system methods?
Phase 4: Coding
After the design phase is executed. The next stage is Coding. It involves the translation of design images to the selected programming language. If the customer is part of the design process then there is extremely little chance of updating the product in this step. Fine written code saves a lot of time and energy at the testing and maintenance stages.
Coding is the most time taking process in the whole development life cycle. At first, the developer creates its own chunk of code lets and modules and then integrates with a team of software developers to finalize the product.
Phase 5: Testing
This process starts after the completion of the coding phase in the development life cycle. But it is also possible in certain cases that testing can be carried out during the coding phase as well. The testing team checks all its functionalities and behaviour and matches them with user requirements. Bugs and errors are listed and conveyed to the development team, who is actually responsible for fixing these. This is an iterative process, until the software is error-free and meets the end-user needs it must not be rolled out.
Phase 6: Installation / Deployment
When the testing phase ends it produces a product that is bug-free and ready to be deployed. Before deployment and after testing completion, the product is verified by the customer and then deployed where required. The software can be installed at once in the whole organization, either it can be deployed on some computer devices and after successful response updated to remaining devices.
Phase 7: Maintenance:
Maintenance is the last phase within the development life cycle but it is also the beginning of a new cycle. The software product is never complete, there will always be a better version available due to technological advancements, change in the behaviour of the end-user, or due change in business requirements. This never-ending process comprises of three steps mostly.
- Error Fixing: Bugs are detected by the end-user and reported to the development team. These are fixed immediately, but the whole SDLC process doesn’t start from the first phase. The product is fixed, tested, and deployed.
- Up-gradation: Versions of the software are not constant, they regularly require updates for better UI/UX or other look and feel.
- Enhancement: There may be a need for extra features to add to develop a software product and remove some un-useful stuff from an existing product.
Software development: How Lex Data’s experienced full-stack developers can help?
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