If you are new to software development, the whole process may seem somewhat overwhelming. How can you bring your idea to life if you don’t know where to start? Luckily, the Software Development Life Cycle or SDLC explains the exact phases or stages that the project goes through. Just like any other project, software development follows specific steps in order to have work clearly organized.
SDLC is a set of stages that software engineers follow in a development project. It contains full details about how to create, maintain, replace and modify or improve the software. The life cycle defines the methodology that will be used to optimize the development process and meet clients' needs.
Understanding project requirements is the most important stage of SDLC. It is performed by senior members of the team with inputs from the customer, the sales department, market surveys and domain experts in the industry. This information becomes the basic project approach and defines how software needs to operate in order to be profitable and sustainable in the market.
At this stage planning for the quality assurance requirements and identification of the risks associated with the project also take place. A technical feasibility study is used to define the various technical approaches that will help to successfully implement the project and minimize the possible risks.
Once the requirements have been analyzed and clearly defined, it’s time to document them and get the final approval from the customer. Some methodologies like Big Bang model do not require the exact set of requirements to start the development process, but there has to be at least the minimum amount to make sure the client and the development team are on the same page. Otherwise, the whole process might need to start over which will mean extra time and costs.
Designing the product architecture
SRS or Software Requirement Specification is the reference for product architects to make the best plan for the product to be developed. Based on the requirements specified in SRS design, several options, and the chosen one is documented in Design Document Specification or DDS. The chosen design approach defines the parts and modules of the product, how they interact with each other, if there are third-party modules how are they being implemented, etc.
Developing the product
In this stage of SDLC, the actual development starts and the product is built. The programming code is generated according to DDS during this stage. If enough details are provided in specifications, the code can be created fast and without any major problems.
Software engineers follow the programming guidelines defined by their organization and adapt their work to the project requirements. Different high-level programming languages such as C, C++, Pascal, Java, and PHP among others are used to create the software. The programming language is chosen depending on the type of software being developed and the requirements of the project.
This stage is usually an internal part of all the stages as in the modern SDLC models, as the testing activities are mostly involved in all the stages of the development process. However, at this stage product defects are specifically reported, tracked, fixed and retested until the product reaches the quality standards defined in the SRS. This stage serves as a filter for all possible functionality errors before the release.
Launching and maintenance
Once the product has been tested and approved to be released, it is time for it to meet the market. Sometimes product release happens in stages depending on the business strategy of the client’s organization. Normally, the product first released in a limited audience and tested in the real business environment.
Then based on the feedback, the product may be released in full or undergo a round of changes to meet market requirements better. After the product is released in the market, it's being maintained and updated when needed. The development process rarely just stops there as the continuous need for innovation requires the products to grow and develop with the market.
There are various software development life cycle methodologies created to be followed during the software development process. These methodologies are also referred to as software development process models. Each process model follows a series of steps unique to its type to ensure success in the process of software development.
The most common SDLC methodologies are:
- Waterfall model - once a phase is complete, you move on to the next one, no going back to make changes to the previous phases.
- Iterative model - this model provides you with a working prototype early, where in every stage you apply a new set of requirements, test, analyze and then add further conditions.
- Big Bang model - this model doesn’t follow an exact set of requirements and jumps straight into development, which may not be beneficial for large and complex projects.
- V-shaped model - like the Waterfall model, this one goes from one phase to the other when the previous one is complete and is characterized by testing during every development phase.
- Spiral model - this flexible model allows introducing feedback early for creating highly-custom products and is characterized by project passing through the same stages over and over until perfection.
- Agile model - is a very realistic development approach, thanks to the high level of engagement between customers, developers and testers and uses ongoing releases to analyze the response to changes.
At Trio, we support our clients during all the steps of the software development process, from helping them to choose the best way to translate their vision into software, to supporting them once the product has been released.
By using ETA (Engineering Team Allocation), we provide small and medium businesses with exceptional software engineering talents based on project size and it’s requirements. You get access to hard-working and highly trained professionals that we’ve carefully selected and incorporated in our team without the need to hire them within your company. Your ideas, our engineers, and great software as a result.
If you are not sure where to start the software development process, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to discuss the possibilities and estimate the costs. Team Trio is ready to provide you with all the necessary expertise required to build a user-friendly and highly-functional software. Sounds interesting? Tell us about your project and let’s get started!