What is Software Development Life Cycle? A Complete Guide

What is SDLC Phases of Software Development & Models

Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) could be a new acronym to many, but the history of the procedure dates long back ever since the existence of computers. The first computer and its operators during the ENIAC and vacuum tube era have passed through several developments and after decades of advancement, it has reached the latest and foolproof processes.

Today, the software development life cycle includes several developmental tools and hardware advances as a whole process. The entire cycle is the result of logical thinking and keeping in mind the business objectives for which the software is getting built. While the requirement phase of SDLC includes several steps and approaches, the ultimate goal of any software development lifecycle process is to build software efficiently and effectively without bothering the client’s budget much.

Further, the professional software development company such as Prismetric will help you understand different phases of Software development process and walk you through the roadmap while providing all the required guidance and inputs as required in the different phases of building your successful software.

What is the SDLC? The definition

Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) refers to a systematic procedure to build software that warrants superior quality and scalability of the product. Standard software development requirements management aims to cater to the business objectives defined and narrated by clients so that the final product is satisfactory and fulfills the needs of the investment.

The procedure of the software development life cycle includes several stages and processes in the right place so the digital product is finished in a defined period and, most importantly, within the budget decided. The SDLC comprises a detailed plan about how to go about the software development and in some special cases even maintain the product later. Software development requirements analysis also tells us which milestone took a long time and what were the causes of escalations, if any.

The requirement of SDLC

The SDLC goal is to facilitate everyone involved in the software development process with a foolproof and solid methodology so that to minimize the development risks, stick to specific objectives, and deliver the best-in-scope product to the buyer at the end.

The goals of SDLC

  • Quality deliverables that meet or exceed the client’s satisfaction in terms of aligning with predefined objectives and falling within the budget
  • Provide software developers with the best framework and working environment such as quality systems to carry out distinguishable, measurable, and reliable processes.
  • Assuring a foolproof project management process so that each milestone in the software development cycle is effectively managed and achieved.
  • Helping in identifying and assigning roles and responsibilities to concerned team members and managers for flawless operations in the software development procedure.
  • Minimizing escalations by keeping everybody on the same board and sharing the same knowledge and whereabouts of the project.

What are the benefits of Software Development Life Cycle?

Software development is a complex process that entails foolproof planning and systematic execution. Whether the process is carried out at your premises or you have outsourced the project to a dedicated software development team, software development requirements management is of paramount importance and you cannot ignore it.

The advantages of keeping software development stages as per a standard life cycle are many, a few being mentioned below.

  • Each person concerned with a project has a common understanding of the project. Hence, the knowledge shift, in a special case is easier and quicker.
  • All details of each milestone shall be known to every software development team member and manager.
  • The roles and responsibilities are equally divided between managers, business analysts, programmers or developers, designers, and QA executives.
  • The clarity in input and output data to remove any ambiguity.
  • The quick and flawless software development cycle assured to align with predefined business objectives.

How does SDLC work?

When you follow a standard software development guide, the software development life cycle defines the overall development of each task or milestone to be completed. These milestones or processes are kept together to make a completely customized software solution. SDLC can bring down all the wastage of time and simultaneously increase the productivity of the development process. Software Development Life Cycle also assures that the project is on the right track and steadily developing without any hassles.

The SDLC provides a professional environment to the experts involved in building a digital product. The software development phases consist of all important documentation, technology, market research, budget analysis, and feasibility of the project. Depending on the need of the hour, process of SDLC enables the concerned persons to merge one or more milestones to achieve acceleration of the overall process; nevertheless, such a step is taken under strict supervision and experts’ input.

What are the software development life cycle phases?

The whole software development life cycle phase or process can be divided into seven steps. From requirement collection or gathering to maintenance, every step in the ideal software life cycle model comprises a defined task that is carried out with utter attention. Here are the stages –

software development life cycle phases

Requirement collection and analysis phase

For any foolproof software development methodology or process to begin, the first stage is quite crucial. The requirement collection and analysis are performed by seniors and experienced members, and they do consult other stakeholders of the software project and domain experts to make an infallible plan.

As this is one of the crucial software development phases, the quality assurance roadmap is fixed along with its prerequisites and recognition. The risks are calculated and then scenarios are defined. As a result, the requirement collection and analysis stage would paint a clear picture of the project’s scope with precautions for any impediments. Also, both the parties the buyer and the service provider mutually set a broad timeline and milestones for the initial stages.

Step of Feasibility study

This is a crucial stage of software development requirements analysis wherein the business objectives and thoughts are aligned with the technical capabilities of the software product. The Software Requirement Specification documentation (as some call SRS documents) is carefully written and studied. While carrying out the feasibilities of the product, six factors are taken into account.

software development Step of Feasibility study

  • Economic: whether the expectations of the client can be met with the budget set?
  • Legal: is the project abide by the laws? Nationally and Internationally? Also, whether the project checks regulatory framework compliances?
  • Operations: does the project handle the level of complexity required?
  • Technical: whether the current computer systems support the latest technology?
  • Time or period: whether the project is likely to meet the deadlines? Is it feasible in the time limit set by the buyer?
  • Scalability: whether or not the product is future-ready? Will it be compatible with future changes as the market and user demands change?

Software Design Phase

The next phase of software development life cycle process includes designing the product. The system and software design documentation are drafted keeping specific requirements in mind. The aesthetics of the user interface (UI) along with the overall software architecture are outlined before the project is brought on the floor. By books, there are two design levels considered for this SDLC step –

High-level design (HLD)

  • Naming and defining every module
  • Briefing modules and their functions
  • Interconnection and module inter-dependency
  • Defined data and their key elements
  • Detailed architecture with diagram and tech detailing

Low-level design (LLD):

  • Modules with functional logic
  • Tables with data type and size
  • UI outline
  • Design dependencies and their solutions
  • The list of errors and escalations
  • Input and output of each module

Software development and Coding Phase

The next step, after design, in SDLC is coding or Software development. In this stage, software developers choose a particular platform and/or framework to build a customized software. The programming language experts start coding either from the scratch or use the previous code for general items. The development phase in the software development life cycle divides the entire project into units/modules and distributes them to concerned team members.

The software development phase is the longest phase in the SDLC process. The hired talented developers are asked to follow protocols and predefined guidelines by buyers and such procedures are common in the best of the top software development companies. That said, the best practices of the software development life cycle assure the buyer that the final product shall work as per the requirements of the business.

The coding or development phase also defines the tools and technologies (whether free or licensed) to be used by professional software developers. Debugging tools, compilers, interpreters, and other coding platforms are made readily available.

Software Testing Phase

Phases of the SDLC process include testing as the fifth phase wherein it is temporarily deployed in the testing environment. The team of dedicated software testers tests a single code, a line of code in some special cases, or else they simply parse the code and run the testing as a whole.

In this step of SDLC, the QA team takes stringent steps to check the functionalities of the software product being developed. Should they find any bug or error, they communicate with their teammates and if needed consult their seniors to rectify or solve it. The bugs are fixed and the software is again tested with even tougher testing. The process is continued till the software testing procedure renders error-free.

Software Product Installation and deployment

The software development life cycle process gets towards its end with installation and deployment only once the debugging is done and the development so far has no error whatsoever. The product is installed or deployed at the right place, this time for the final time. All the stakeholders are asked to use the beta version of the software and once they approve the functionalities of the product, the process of software development life cycle is expected to end soon.

The SDLC steps are considered ended only when the final testing and usage of the software product is approved by the stakeholders, especially the client themselves. In most cases, there is no escalation, error, or bug found in this stage of SDLC.

Maintenance of Software

Software development stages end with maintenance. Once the system is installed at the right place, the users (customers) start using the software tool or application and that is where it is important for both the parties the buyer and the software development firm should agree upon the maintenance phase which includes.

  • Bug fixing: for flawless functionalities of software in any condition
  • Upgrade: regular updates to add better functionalities and capabilities of the product
  • Scalability: to add scalability to adapt to the changes required in future
  • Assurance: to assure that the software product is up and running

Internationally acclaimed SDLC models

SDLC models assure that all the phases of Software development life cycle are carried out smoothly with minimal or no hassle. It is important that when you outsource your project to any offshore software development outsourcing company, they should inform you about the SDLC models they practice. Here are some of the popular methodologies for software development process–

Agile model in SDLC

Agile has been the most popular method in SDLC that assures the best and flawless interactions among all the concerned members of the software development lifecycle. The project is divided into small incremental developments. Each such development is classified in the iteration for which an assigned person shall work dedicatedly. The testing through feedback is done at every stage.

Waterfall model in SDLC

The waterfall model is another widely accepted model for SDLC procedures. The entire process of software development life cycle is divided into various phases and the outcome of one such phase is considered as the input for the next one.

Spiral model in SDLC

Considered as a ‘calculated-risk’ model, the spiral model in the software development procedure helps the developers embrace one or more elements from the waterfall, incremental, and other models. Chiefly, the spiral model in the procedure of SDLC gets the best from the prototyping and waterfall methodology. Hence, it is a blend of swift prototyping and design concurrence.

Big bang model

The big bang model in SDLC considers all resources for software programming, but with no or minimal plan. Here, the decision is taken and requirements are fulfilled as they arrive. Due to its uncertain nature, the big bang model in process of software development is popular for projects with limited scope and small scale. Ideal for academic software development projects, this model also works better with a smaller team of skilled software developers.

Incremental model in SDLC

This model does not differ from the waterfall model; instead, it is a part or extension of the waterfall methodology. For entire process is divided into groups and for each group, the procedure of software development is followed to build the product. The SDLC repeats and every time the functionality is added one by one till all the objectives are achieved. Ideally, every phase in this model serves as a maintenance phase of the previous functioning.

V-model in SDLC

In this special software development methodology, the phase is planned simultaneously with the development and testing. In other words, this model has verification on the one hand and validation on the other. The model is backed by the coding or development phase that follows strict standards.

The software development life cycle (SDLC) has been in practice because it systematizes the software building process in a standard way. As a result, the final product meets the client’s expectations and predefined business objectives. Thus, it is important for any buyer to select and request a quote from one of the best custom software development companies along with a piece of detailed information about all these aspects so that you have the assurance that in addition to following all the important procedures for software development, a standard SDLC process will be followed thoroughly.

Our Recent Blog

Know what’s new in Technology and Development

Have a question or need a custom quote

Our in-depth understanding in technology and innovation can turn your aspiration into a business reality.

1

Have a free technical consultation

2

Sign your NDA

3

Get connected to our tech team

4

Get our team onboard for you

    4 + 1 =

      Contact Us

      Connect With US

      x

      1 + 5 =