No person thought that with the changing technological requirements of people and businesses, software development will get this much upsurge worldwide. Software developers in every corner of the globe are every day trying to embrace new software development processes. In 2011, Marc Andreesen once quoted-
“Software is eating the world”
It depicted that software companies would surely disrupt the established industries and since then, we have witnessed a lot of drastic changes. Various businesses have joined hands with leading firms to acquire software development services in order to double their revenue and business ROI.
To say, this change is good, and it will be beneficial for businesses to adopt the software development process by taking help from a software development company. SDLC (software development life cycle) is an easy and systematic process to follow to create a solution. Methodical and streamlined development will make a lot of things simpler for you. Along with the decreased software development cost, writing the programming code would be at ease including the necessary feature integration. The software development methodology you choose also plays a crucial software development roles in the whole process.
If you wish to create feature-rich and high-performing software for your enterprise, then the below guide to custom software development is the perfect go-to thing for you. Without any further ado, let’s navigate to know the actual process of creating software-
What is SDLC?
SDLC refers to the software development life cycle comprising a clearly defined methodology to build high-quality software. We can call it a set of steps used to create software apps while applying standard business practices. Commonly, the process of software development is categorized into these simple steps: research & planning, requirements, design, development, testing, deployment & maintenance. Here SDLC allows the development team to deep analysis every step of the procedure to deliver high-quality software.
Similar to any other process, SDLC also starts with an idea, and then, it becomes a document. It will be created as a prototype and will also be presented in different forms before getting delivered to the users. All the methods, practices, and development stages used in the SDLC are evolved and applied step-by-step into the process, understand the SDLC working in-depth below:
How Does SDLC Work?
After knowing about what is software development life cycle, don’t you think you should get some knowledge about its works as well? The prime reason to apply SDLC is to better the quality and lessen the production time while decreasing the cost of software development. It is not a tough job to do for SDLC as the process follows a well-created plan to remove the crucial drawbacks of software development. It begins by assessing the present systems for inadequacies.
In the further step, it defines the system requirements to create the software following stages such as analysis, planning, system design, development, QA, and deployment. Predictions by SDLC about faults like not asking clients or end-users for feedback can alleviate unnecessary redo and after-the-fact corrections. Here is the cycle-
Also, among all the steps of SDLC, it is significant to put extra effort into the testing phase. The testing software process is the crucial one and any negligence in this step can lead your entire product to a big failure in the market. SDLC is considered a repetitive methodology used for different types of custom software development, hence, it becomes necessary to check the code at each cycle. SDLC is a process that requires updating the team regularly and timely at every step and it takes the collective efforts of business analysts, project managers, designers & developers, and the QA team.
Different Stages of Software Development Process
To know what is software development process, you have to go through all the steps one by one. Following these steps is an integral part of the software dev process. Get all the details about them as follows:
1. Project Planning & Requirement Analysis
The purpose of this stage is to get an overview of the project idea and whether will it be beneficial for the business. Assess the project requirements while identifying the associated market risks and adjusting the product groundwork. Business analysts will play the main role in this stage and will create an SRS (software requirement specification) document containing the project goals, vision, and all the requirements. In this phase, it will also define the strengths and weaknesses of the existing system along with the possible improvements as the project goal, all the hardware, software, network, and security specifications. There must be answered some critical questions as well-
- What are the business expectations from the project?
- Does the client want to build a new product from the scratch or just want amendments to the existing one?
- Is there any deadline?
- Do we have all the experts and skilled developers in-house, or do we have to outsource the project?
Getting answers to some of these questions will sort out a lot of things for the software development company. To make the further steps easy, the document must also contain details about resource allocation, capacity planning, project planning, and provisioning along with the estimation of custom software development cost. In the end, you will get a detailed document defining every required thing, such as project scope and goals, budget, resources, deadlines, and many more.
After this, senior business analysts will process the feasibility study to analyze the project’s viability. It should include the aspects like budget restraints, legal consequences, operational needs, existing in-house expertise, and determined project deadline. This expanded SRS needed to be approved by the higher authorities.
2. Software Design and Prototyping
Once all the project requirements are understood and getting approval on SRS, hired designers and architects can start working on the software design. Designing is one of the essential stages when it comes to how to create software as audiences always notice how the product is looking at first and then, they go for its specification. Designers go for standard patterns for the development process of software or app architecture. Here architectures can also use frameworks like TOGAF to build an app from available elements to stimulate consistency and reuse.
A standard software design must include some major aspects that are:
- Software Architecture (coding languages, interfaces, databases, operating systems, APIs, pre-built templates, and so on)
- Infrastructure components
- Number of Features
- UI Design
- Security Requirements (SSL encryption, database migrations, password protection, etc.)
The designing team writes down all these specifications into a DDS (Design Document Specification). It is reviewed by a stakeholder and will get approved based on a few following factors:
- Risk Assessment
- Design Modularity
- Time Limitations
- Product Strength
Some software development companies prefer to build a prototype at the time of software development processes. Being a time-consuming but less costly document help you prevent from doing extremist modifications after the development process.
3. Software Development Phase
Let’s talk about one of the most important software development steps. First, the development team must get familiar with the DDS to understand the software process. Be it a white-label or custom software, this process takes a lot of effort and time, therefore, software developers choose Agile methodology along with varied programming software types to fasten up the coding process. This stage ends up providing you an operational software that accomplishes all the requirements defined in the SRS and DDS documents.
If you have already chosen one, then the entire software development process will be a simpler task. Developers should go for the Agile (time-boxed ‘sprints’) or Waterfall (single block of effort) method for the development phase. The main aim of the coders will be to produce software as quickly as possible. All the business stakeholders need to stick with the process regularly to ensure all their expectations are being met. The result you will get with this step will be fully functional as well as testable software.
4. Test the Software
Testing is a vital step of the software development making process as checking whether the software is working properly or not is very important before launching in the market. This is the stage where you feel the importance to choose a right software development company with experience and expertise. Basically, testing is conducted to examine the usability, functionality, and stability of the software product. To test the product properly, you must have a skilled team of QA testers that has knowledge about all types of testing.
The process should go both ways, manually and with automated tools to find out the errors or bugs. Various automated tools can be used for testing such as continuous integration tools like Codeship. Mainly, testers focus on four types of testing including performance testing, unit testing, security testing, and usability testing. Other than that, there are code quality testing, integration testing, acceptance testing, non-functional testing, and others that can be used to check the software’s quality and functioning.
All the bugs or glitches found during the testing must be sorted out as fast as possible to make the software flawless and smooth to use. It is the reason why developers prefer to use such software development methods that allow them to test the software during the development process. It saves their time and makes the testing procedure and changes easy to do. Various corporations tend to pay extra attention to the testing phase. After having the quality check, you will get software according to the quality standards, free of bugs, stable and ready-to-deploy.
5. Software Deployment
After going through all the stages of software development, it’s time to launch the software. In this phase, some projects need the whole team to write user manuals or develop instructional videos before making the software public to end users. Preferably, the deployment phase is considered a part of CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous deployment) that processes automatically only in a large-scale enterprise. While if you are working in a highly regulated industry, then you must require manual approval in the first place. It will directly impact the timespan of the custom software development process.
For the software release, there can be also used ARA (Application Release Automation) tools to automate and affix the procedure. It helps to deploy the software app automatically and these work with integration tools usually. Sometimes, enterprises also go for an Alpha release of the product to check the users’ feedback on it. In this, the product is released for a bunch of users and the project is then modified based on their feedback analysis. After doing changes, the product will go for Beta release where all the end users have access to use it.
6. Maintenance & Support
Now you have been aware of how to develop software and deploy it, but do you know what importance the ‘maintenance and support’ phase holds? This stage can be called the ‘end of the beginning’ and SDLC doesn’t end with the deployment. Even after the release, it is mandatory to keep a check on the software constantly to see whether there is an issue or not. It can be seen many times that some errors or bugs occur at the time of consistent use. If there is founded any while using the software, it will be soon fixed by the support team.
Other than that, if there is a need to integrate some advanced functions into the software according to the latest software development trends, it will also be done by the development team. After every fix, the software will be tested again. You need to update the software app quite often to make it work smoothly and meet all the quality standards. This way the software app will attract more users.
Know About Software Development Life Cycle Models
Different SDLC models require different aspects while the development phase. When you hire software developers, you must choose them according to the SDLC model you have selected. Let’s get details about all of them-
1. Waterfall Model
This model is the oldest and the most systematic SDLC model that is also known as the linear sequential model. It includes steps like market analysis & requirement gathering, designing, coding, testing, launch, and maintenance. This model works following one-by-one steps and each step works according to the outcome of the last step. Basically, just like a waterfall, it leads one after one, hence it is named like this. Experts can never go back to any step after finishing it completely, therefore, it becomes significant to work carefully and by avoiding any possible mistake.
- Logical movement of steps for easy development
- Feasibility analysis to remove blockages and data feed store
- Easily understandable and provides perceptible results
2. Prototype Development Model
In this, the development team works on creating a product prototype before jumping to the design phase. A prototype includes essential aspects such as limited functions and ineffective execution depicting how the software system is going to look and work. While providing software or website development services, companies create prototypes to get early feedback from clients.
Based on that feedback, software developers execute those feedback to develop a better version. This process keeps repeating until the prototype gets no more negative feedback. After that, the team will start working on the final product design.
- Go through an early proof-of-concept to build a legitimate product
- Reduces the number of errors
- Adjustable to changes
3. Agile Software Development Model
You must go for a leading custom software development company that follows the Agile methodology that allows the developers to make modest and incremental alterations even in the previous stage. This model permits the team to work in sprints that remain for 2 to 4 weeks, every one of them comes with different goals and requirements. It is the exact opposite of the Waterfall model that is being used largely by software development agencies. It is said that currently over 60% of projects are developed using the Agile method.
- Rapid implementation of changes
- Accentuates the code quality
- A flexible model with reduced time-to-market
4. Iterative Development Model
Under this model, developers create an incomplete product version at the end of every development cycle. In the first iteration, it is far from perfect while meeting some of the software requirements. Similarly to this, each consecutively deployed version amplifies the product with more features and functionalities. Every iteration follows steps like:
- Inception Stage (Assessment of project’s goals, needs, and scope)
- Elaboration Stage (functional product architectural design)
- Construction Stage (coding & product development)
- Transition Stage (product launching)
Each step will be verified and will need stakeholders’ feedback. At last, the iteration will deploy a software version that went through the testing procedure while accomplishing all the requirements defined in the DDS. This model is nowhere similar to the Spiral model as it deploys every software version to production.
- Manage small to medium changes easily
- Continuous risk analysis to ensure the product security
- The project is divided into smaller chunks for product management
5. Spiral Model
This model works as a risk-driven software development method that highlights the reiteration of its basic four stages which are determining objectives, assessing & resolving risks, developing & testing, and result evaluation while planning for the next iteration. The logic behind this process lies in making small improvements with every passing stage. Software developers will consistently identify the needs and create prototypes while proceeding through the main four steps.
- The team can go to the previous stage when an issue occurs.
- Details risk analysis
- Amazing fit for large-scale projects
With the above blog, we have made it clear that it is always good to follow a systematic method or steps to build a software application or website. Therefore, it becomes necessary to embrace one suitable methodology for project development. SDLC methodologies are such initiatives that help your chosen software development agency and developers to streamline the whole process of creating a product. There are major six phases followed by all the firms to develop solutions. Among all the SDLC models, Waterfall and Agile models are the ones mostly used by companies to deliver reliable outcomes.
If you have a unique idea and want to convert it into an efficient software application, SemiDot Infotech can help you here! Being a leading software and mobile app development company, we can facilitate you with software developers for hire. Connect with us and we ensure you to provide software development by using a creative approach.
Have a look at the below FAQs to find out more details about software development-
- Name the Major 7 Stages of Software Development.
The major 7 stages of software development comprise product ideation, market research & analysis, design & architecture, development, launch, maintenance, and support.
- What are the Benefits of SDLC for Software Development?
Some of the amazing benefits provided by SDLC are decreased development cost, the better quality of software, improved transparency of the development process, less time-to-market, in-depth risk analysis, reduced chances of project failure, fewer errors, and others.
- How Do You Fasten up the Software Development Process?
Choosing a systematic method or SDLC methodologies, writing down your requirements, decomposing bigger tasks, including more people in the team, using the latest technologies, never going overboard, etc. are the best ways to fasten up the development process. Any of the SDLC methods can be adopted as per the project and client requirements. Following a step-by-step process will facilitate you with less project complexity, wide scope, and more desirable results.
- What are the Tips to Choose the Best Software Development Company?
To choose the best software development company, you must follow the tips like evaluating their work samples or portfolio, taking feedback from their previous clients, finding out about their relevant skills, their charges, and specialized developers, checking their experience and expertise, taking references online, and more.
- What is the Best SDLC Method to Choose for a Tech Venture?
If you are about to start your venture, then you must go for an SDLC method that can streamline the development process. Hence, the most manageable method is the Agile methodology to build a software app from scratch. It includes all the development stages from project ideation to development to its maintenance.