Understanding the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
Breaking Down Each Phase in the SDLC
From planning to deploying, and then maintenance, the SDLC involves several different stages
With all the complex processes involved in software development, it’s easy to forget the fundamental process for a successful software development life cycle (SDLC). The SDLC process includes planning, designing, developing, testing and deploying with ongoing maintenance to create and manage an applications efficiently. When faced with the task of producing high-quality software that meets a client’s expectations, requirements, time-frame, and cost estimations; understanding the SDLC is crucial.
SDLC models, or methodologies, are used create complex applications of varying sizes and scales, such as Agile, Waterfall and Spiral. Each model follows a particular life cycle in order to ensure success in the process of software development.
Planning and analysis
This phase is the most fundamental in the SDLC process. Business requirements are compiled and analyzed by a business analyst, domain expert, and project manager. The business analyst interacts with stakeholders to develop the business requirements document. They also write use cases and share this information with the project team. The aim of the requirements analysis is for quality assurance, technical feasibility, and to identify potential risks to address in order for the software to succeed.
Designing the product architecture
During the design phase, lead developers and technical architects create the initial high-level design plan for the software and system. This includes delivery of requirements used to create the Design Document Specification (DDS). This document details database tables to be added, new transactions to be defined, security processes, as well as hardware and system requirements.
Developing and coding
In this phase the database admin creates and imports the necessary data into the database. Programming languages are defined by requirements. Developers create the interface as per the coding guidelines and conduct unit testing. This is an important phase for developers. They need to be open minded and flexible if any changes are introduced by the business analyst.
Testers test the software against the requirements to make sure that the software is solving the needs addressed and outlined during the planning phase. All tests are conducted as functional testing, including unit testing, integration testing, system testing, acceptance testing, and non-functional testing.
In a post-production, live software environment, the system is in maintenance mode. No matter the number of users, the sophistication of the software and rigorous QA testing, issues will occur. That’s the nature of software with managing data, integration, and security, and real world usage. Access to knowledgeable, reliable support resources is essential, as is routine maintenance and staying up to date on upgrades.