A software development life cycle (SDLC) is a framework used to develop software products. In the development of a software or IT product, there is a wide spectrum of activities and tasks that must be accomplished. Various models are used to impose a structure on each one of these activities and tasks in order to achieve the most beneficial results. As with any industry, the software industry must continue to evolve over time in order to stay competitive and to offer the most useful products. SDLC assists in the extensive planning process so that an end product is created that meets the demand of consumers and is worth the money invested into the development of the product.
There are many models used for software development. Regardless of what model is used, there is always a planning phase. Planning involves determining the requirements of a project. Assessing what customers want from a software product will give developers an abstract idea of where to begin. It is then up to software engineers to analyze the scope of the project, to recognize customer requirements, and to create a scope document. If software engineers are providing their services to an external client, the scope document can be used as a legal document to be sure that both client and developer understand what is expected.
Implementation is the next stage in the SDLC. In this phase, software engineers program software code for the project.
After code has been created for the software, it is imperative to test for defects. By recognizing any potential defects immediately, corrections can be made as efficiently as possible while minimizing the costs of these mistakes.
The documenting phase of SDLC is done throughout the software development process. It is important to document the software's internal design so that maintenance and enhancement procedures can be performed in the future to optimize the quality of the product.
Once the software code is created, tested, approved, and sold to production companies, the deployment phase begins. Deployment may include customizing the software to meet individual client needs. This phase may also involve the installation of the software. To ensure that the product is being used properly, training and support is essential, and is a crucial component of the deployment phase.
Even though rigorous testing procedures are performed as part of the software development process, faults in the end product are sure to arise when it is applied in the real world among a variety of unique settings. Therefore, maintaining software over time is vital to the long-term success of any software product. In addition, to meet the ongoing needs of users, developers must stay on top of software enhancements throughout the life of the product.
The principal objective of SDLC process models is to discover predictable and repeatable methodologies that enhance productivity and quality. There are different models, including the waterfall model and the iterative model, that use a combination of methodologies to achieve these goals. Without these models, many software projects cannot achieve their goal of optimal planning, functionality, budget, delivery, and implantation. With an effective project management plan in place, software projects are far more likely to meet their budget and to deliver quality software.
The waterfall model completes one full phase of the software development process and then moves on to the next phase. In other words, there's no turning back once each phase is complete. Therefore, this model is ideal for software projects in which the requirements are well defined and when there is low technical risk.
If the requirements of your software project are uncertain and there is high technical risk, then the iterative model will be better suited to your needs. This model offers greater flexibility since it gives developers the opportunity to move back to earlier phases of the project as needed.
There are other SDLC process models available. The model that works best for you will depend on your unique project requirements.