Software Development Lifecycle or SDLC is a framework that offers a more organized and structured approach to software application development. It includes a group of phases that a software development team follows to create designs, develop, test, launch or deploy, and support and maintain the software.
The Software Development Lifecycle is a critical process in the course of software development. The process helps to make sure that the software development projects are planned right, well-structured, and organized. The method also enables the developers to deliver premium software solutions that exceed the client’s expectations, and also delivered within the deadline and planned budget.
In this article, we will be exploring Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) along with its importance of it in developing software applications. We will also be exploring the several phases included in SDLC, the different categories, and finally the pros and cons of the process.
Different Phases Of Software Development Lifecycle
An SDLC process includes multiple steps that are followed by the development teams to create a design, develop the software, put it through tests, launch or deploy it, and then maintain it for a successful run. The steps of SDLC can vary depending on which type of software development model you are following but here are the six common phases of SDLC:
During the planning phase, project goals, objectives, requirements, and scope are needed to be defined. The development team is also required to identify the key stakeholders, identify the project’s feasibility, set specific timelines and checkpoints or milestones, and finally design a roadmap for the project.
The assessment phase is to collect and assess the user requirements, design specifications, and system specifications. Then the team marks out the user requirements and translates them into functional specifications that the planned software must meet. The assessment phase helps to ensure that the software successfully meets the user requirements and expectations.
During the design phase, creating a detailed plan for the software solution is the main goal of the development team. The plan must include system architecture, database design, and technical specifications. Then the team needs to create the software design considering the requirements.
The fourth phase is development, in this phase; the software is built and coded. The development team builds the software solution depending on the design created in the previous phase. The development phase includes programming, debugging, and often testing to make sure that the software is exactly meeting the design specifications.
When the software is developed it needs to be tested for its quality. The testing phase is to verify that the application is built based on the requirements provided by the customer. The development team is then required to conduct unit, integration, and system testing to find out the flaws and address them.
After testing the software it is time to install it on the user’s server or system, along with offering training and support to the user. It is important to know that the development has to make sure that the solution is ready to be accessed by the user. Not only that the team must also ensure if the users understood the right way to use the solution or not.
The last phase of the Software Development Lifecycle is maintenance. In this phase, the development team is expected to offer ongoing maintenance and support for the developed software solution. The support and maintenance include bug fixes, updates, enhancements, and more. The maintenance phase is to make sure that the developed software is concurrent with user requirements and demands.
Various Types of Software Development Lifecycle Models
There are multiple SDLC models that software development teams utilize to manage the software development processes. Here are the most commonly utilized SDLC models:
Waterfall is a traditional linear model following a sequential approach to developing software applications. In this model, each phase of the development must be finished before starting the next one. Waterfall is an inflexible approach that focuses heavily on planning and documentation.
Agile is a continual and collaborative approach with flexibility as its main focus. Agile is a highly consumer-oriented approach prioritizing the delivery of working software in small pieces.
The DevOps model prioritizes regular integration and delivery by utilizing automation and collaboration. DevOps is a cross-functional method that helps the collaboration of developers and operation executives to plan an efficient and effective process of software development.
Spiral is a risk-oriented model that mixes the continual nature of the Agile model with the control and documentation of the Waterfall model.
V-model can be referred to as an extension of the waterfall model that prioritizes testing and verification. Each phase of the V-model SDLC is followed by a corresponding testing phase to ensure the phase is completed accurately before heading to the next one.
Rapid Application Development (RAD)
The RAD model prioritizes quick prototyping and continual development. The RAD model heavily focuses on developing software as quickly as possible utilizing pre-built components, rapid prototyping tactics, and automated tools.
Pros & Cons of Software Development Lifecycle
Better Planning & Organization
SDLC offers a more systematic and organized approach to software development that guarantees the projects are rightly-planned and organized.
SDLC makes sure the development teams follow a standardized method that involves testing and verification during every step of the development process. It helps to develop high-end software applications.
Better Risk Management
SDLC helps by finding out the potential risks and threats early in the software development process. It also offers a framework to address those risks which enables the development teams to manage the risks accurately.
Rigid & Inflexible
Sometimes SDLC can be a rigid and inflexible process that creates challenges to implement changes or does not even allow implementation of changes. This can cause delays in the development process, increased costs, and many more issues.
Software Development Lifecycle needs a long time and a significant amount of effort to plan, design, develop, test, launch, support, and maintain software applications. Having these many phases often cause the development process to be lengthy.
SDLC can often be a highly costly practice that needs an insane amount of investment in resources. This can be a heavy obstacle for many startups and early-stage entrepreneurs.
In conclusion, it can be said that although the Software Development Lifecycle may seem a very easy and short process, it certainly is not. It brings the advantages like better planning, enhanced quality, and improved risk management. But it also has its downsides like rigidity, lengthy process, and expansiveness. Even with all these drawbacks, SDLC is a vital process to manage software development projects