SDLC or the Software Development Life Cycle refers to the steps involved in creating a software from scratch. During earlier days, software used to be scarce and its creation was comparatively easier. Developers could create any programs they want and experience no competition. In present time, every software released to the public can easily be compared to another software. Few software can even be considered as a version of another program without any credit.
That’s why careful planning has to be made before a single code is written. Analysis has to be done before anything else is made. SDLC is known as the traditional way of executing and implementing a program. The following are the basic stages of SDLC:
1. Market Research
Before anything is implemented or written, SDLC should always understand their customers in the first place. It’s just basic business to consider what is required and what’s in demand in today’s market. An abstract program could be created from this stage. Since researchers are technically not the developers, all they could do is create a list of what could be used by the public. This will basically be the mission of the software – to meet and exceed the needs that are laid out by the market research team.
2. Hardware Preparation
Once the need has been set, it is time to determine the required hardware to create the specific software. Hardware usually comes after research since the company does not know the actual requirement. They still need a plan before hardware could be purchased or upgraded.
3. Software Analysis
Once the hardware is in place, it is time to go to the specifics of the software. Developers will have to work closely with the research team and present a specific solution for their needs. In this stage of software development, the framework of the software is created. The software gains some foundation as the developers will know what to work on.
4. Software Design
The specifics of the software are elaborated in this stage of web development. Developers will now create a layout of how the software should perform. The workflow is eventually established and the front-end of the software is laid out. The rough design of the software is also presented. Analysis is constantly made on the look of the layout since it will be the first thing that customers will see. This stage is very crucial since the foundation is elaborated and things are extended for the first time. The end result and structure will be based on the initial design. The workflow is laid out and it will be the backbone of the coding structure. Developers have to ensure that each step has been explained carefully if not other developers will find it difficult to understand the software.
If you compare it to a business model, coding is the “operations” of the software development plan. Everything is realized during this stage. The colors and the functions are gradually developed at this point. Developers will make use of different kinds of coding techniques in their preferred platforms. They may create different platforms or create a mash-up of different platforms to different programs. Whatever their coding technique is, they will be adhering to the plans set out by the workflow. Once the program is finished, a prototype is set out for the next stage of the process.
Of course the program, on its first run will not perfect or wouldn’t exactly work as planned. It has to go through rigorous testing. In this stage, bugs are found and some irregularities in the software are somehow fixed. If something goes wrong with the program, it could be fixed with a simple change in codes but if the program is not working as planned, it will be returned to the developers for another round of coding. Testing will make sure the customer gets what they want all the time. Nothing is compromised during this stage. Depending on the program’s coding efficiency, testing could last for a very long time.
Once the testing of program has been completed the software is ready for implementation. For various developers, implementation could mean releasing the software for public beta-testing. That means everyone can use this program but the service is not yet complete. This implementation is used to give them a glimpse of something better. The beta release is also used to test the program if it can withstand thousands of users at the same time. Of course, in theory it has to work but there is software that, for some reason crashes when it reaches a certain number of users at the same time. These are usually done for gaming programs. MMORPG games are the perfect example of implementing the program in beta version. Once the program has been under beta version for some time without any glitch, the final version is released to the public.
This is not very popular with the US developers, but in the UK, closing refers to the final version of the software. Everything is already in place once closing has been posted – the documentation, source codes and business plans were also implemented at the same time.
Once the program has been released, it will not be left out alone. Developers will still work on the software full time as they will monitor its popularity and performance. No one knows if something will happen to a program. This could be the easiest part of the software development stage or the most difficult – depending on the programs efficiency. That is why even at an early stage, coding and design has to be tight and precise.
Pros and Cons:
This type of software development is very streamlined, but it has been continuously criticized. The software development plan is very easy even at first glance. However, once the stage has been completed, the manpower in that particular stage is useless in some other stages. Streamlining will also prohibit creativity in various stages since it will always be based on what was originally planned. One situation that will prove to be very challenging to the developers is when their program will crash or experience viruses or hacks.
Everything has to go back from the planning stage. Even though other software development models will experience challenges if their program is attacked, the streamlining of work makes it harder for software development. They have to go back from the start instead of working on some problems.
On the other hand, this has been practiced for some years. Businesses that are not related to software industry have also used this and have successfully implemented their plans. Most of the software giants work in this way since new software and updates will always be worked on. Smaller companies usually take on a different route since manpower has to be used extensively. Building a software that uses this model usually takes the hint from the popular market. Most of the software programs developed in this model are geared towards earnings from subscriptions or licenses. Since the first thing this model would do is to determine the need of the market, it is bound to get the approval of the public and the response to the software is positive.