What are the Phases of Software Development Life Cycle? The term “software development life cycle” (SDLC) refers to the set of processes that span from the specification and design to the implementation and support of a computer software product. It can also mean the process that follows the requirements analysis and planning stages of a software project’s development.
The SDLC typically includes several phases, including feasibility study, requirements analysis and planning, design and architectural design, coding, installation testing or debugging, deployment or release into production (including quality assurance), post-production support (maintenance) and end-of-life. It may also include secondary activities, such as training and documentation, project management and configuration management.
The SDLC may be for a project that is undertaken by one person or a large team of people. It may be for a small program that runs for a few days or weeks as part of a longer-term project, or it may be for an entire computer system (or system release) that is expected to run for many years in production use.
1) Requirements analysis and planning
All functional, performance, quality and cost constraints must be determined at this stage. These will form the basis of specifications used by programmers.. The question is asked: “Is it worth proceeding further?” If there is no clearly defined requirement then an understanding of user needs must be gained as early as possible in order to produce a realistic solution.
An elaborate plan should be produced so that the software is developed according to a schedule and within budget. The plan should clearly state the features that are required and these need to be in agreement with any other plans (e.g., business plan, marketing plan, sales plan) that are being used by the organization.
A number of aspects of the software must now be considered in detail: how it will work, how much it will cost, what resources are needed to produce it and when will it be ready? It is also necessary to make an estimate of the size of the software i.e., the amount of memory required to store information about one part or module of the program.
A design is the result of a series of steps to ensure that the requirements are met. Designs should be detailed enough to allow engineering staff to perform a detailed feasibility study. The amount of detail should never exceed what is necessary for the purpose at hand. It is important that any design specifications are written in a logical and structured way, with consideration given to consistency, global information and data integrity issues. A good rule of thumb is that designs created by different people need not be consistent (within themselves) but should make their objectives identical.
4) Coding & Implementation
Here, the process of laying down the blueprint for the software is considered in detail. This involves designing and developing the software so that it meets all of its requirements. The code produced is then checked and tested before being released into production.
The implementation stage involves commissioning systems which are purchased and integrated into production, mainly by a database administrator (DBA). The objective of database administration is to supply adequate database management tools and processes as part of an overall system management function. Database administration plays a key role in managing information systems and data within an organization.
5) Installation & Testing
In this phase, the system is installed and tested. The testing normally consists of:
Depending on the particular kind of software being developed, more tests may need to be performed.
In most circumstances when a developer discovers a bug, it is reported and logged. Depending on its severity or importance, this might mean that priority testing is performed on that item. Depending on the kind of development methodology used (e.g., waterfall, agile), the developer might be asked to make fixes or modifications at this stage after logging the bug or cancelling out or fixing the offending code from one set of test results (or before running a new test cycle).
This might involve deploying the system to the network, installing user documentation, designing training manuals and perhaps even delivering the project to the client for acceptance. The introduction of a new system into an organization’s evolution can be like a long voyage fraught with danger. However, once the ship has docked and the passengers are in their seats, it is worth noting that there is seldom an uncontested voyage. Decisions about how to handle various problems will need to be made as issues arise.
7) Post-production support (maintenance)
In this phase, the amount of time devoted to the software is determined. This can be a short period for some software e.g., new releases of major programs or a longer period for other kinds of software e.g. projects that are supported by independent contractors or in-house teams. The developers may be set up with an after-sales service center or they might assign support staff to the client organization.
The SDLC is a new way of thinking about how software is developed. It helps organizations to build software that is cost-effective, reliable and adaptable.
The SDLC involves management and business people as well as developers. It helps personnel understand the reasons for doing something and why a decision is made. The SDLC creates a body of knowledge about how to develop software to meet requirements in the most efficient way possible.
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