There are numerous approaches which are used in software development. These approaches are also known as software development process models. The models include agile, prototype, Waterfall, V-Model, RAD, incremental and spiral. Each of these models has a particular lifecycle. If the life cycle is followed, it ensures a successful software development process.
The phases of software development cycle are determined by the software lifecycle models. The models also define the order in which those steps are executed. Every phase produces deliverables required by the next stage in the lifecycle. The deliverables are then converted into a design.
The design, also known as the development phase determines the codes to be produced. The deliverable of the implementation phase is verified by being tested against the requirements. This normally happens after coding and development.
The testing is based on the software testing life cycle, which is similar to the development cycle which is followed by the development team. The following are the software development life cycle phases.
Planning and requirement analysis
This is the most vital and necessary stage in software development lifecycle. It is normally done by senior members of the development team. Inputs from the sales department, customers, and market survey and industry experts are also factored in this process. The information gathered is then used to conduct a feasibility study and plan the basic approach of the project.
Also, this stage involves identification of risks associated with the project and planning for the quality assurance requirements. The technical approaches used in the implementation of the lifecycle are defined by the outcomes of the technical feasibility study.
This comes after the requirement analysis is done. This step defines and documents the software requirements. It then gets the conditions approved depending on the customer or market analysis. This is done through the Software Requirement Specification (SRS) document. This document contains all the requirements to be designed and developed in the project lifecycle.
Designing the product architecture
For architects to come up with the best design of the software to be developed, they normally refer to the SRS. The SRS requirements allow the designers to propose more than one design approach of the software. The Design Document Specification (DDS) documents this.
Important interested parties are then required to review the DDS. The parties then select the best design for the software based on the various considerations. The factors include budget and time constraints, risk assessment, product strength and design modularity. The DDS outlines the interior designs of all the components of the proposed architecture.
Bidding or developing the software
The actual development of the software begins in this phase. Developers use the DDS to generate the programming code required in the software development. The code generation can be accomplished very easily only if the design is done in a detailed and organized manner.
The company developing the software must outline the coding guidelines for the developers to follow. It must also define the programming tools to be used. The software being developed determines the programming language to be used.
Testing the software
The subset of all phases of software development models is testing of the software. Every stage of software development lifecycle must have testing activities. But this stage entails testing of the developed software where its defects are reported, tracked, fixed and retested. This is done until the software reaches the quality standards defined in the SRS.
Software deployment and maintenance
The software is finally released to the market after successful tests, trials, and approval. However, an organization’s business strategy might require the software deployment to happen in stages. Most of these strategies require the software to be released in a limited segment and then tested in a real business environment.
The software can then be released officially based on the feedback. Once the software is released, regular maintenance can then be done for the existing customer base.