Software Development Life Cycle
The software development embraces many features like problem solving, creativity, logical thinking, disciplined approach, team work, need for documentation, etc. All these make software development quite a unique activity. During the development, the software passes through several phases such as feasibility study, requirements analysis, and design, coding and testing. Once developed, the software goes through two more phases of implementation and maintenance. Over a period of time when it is gull? Of patches, it has to be developed afresh. Thus it enters it's second cycle. This full journey is called the software development life cycle (SDLC). These are various models of SDLC like waterfall, evolving spiral, prototype etc. Whatever is the model, the two sides of Users and Developers have differing standpoints to view the software and these views have to be reconciled for successful software project. Feasibility study is a precursor to the whole cycle and it is a miniature SDLC visualized by the developers to ensure the smooth implementation.
Let us look at some key points of SDLC:
1. Software development passes through a series of steps that are generally called Life Cycle stages.
2. These steps are feasibility study, requirements analysis, design, coding, testing, implementation and maintenance. You will find there are various other nomenclatures for the same set of steps in this study.
3. Each step marks a successive phase in the software development starting from conceptualization through implementation and maintenance.
4. Feasibility study indicates the initial assessment to determine whether the proposed system is viable from the standpoints of technical, economical, operational and social angles.
5. Requirements analysis aims at getting the requirements from the would be Users of the system in terms of how they put their routine transaction, the normal workflow, the data processing needs, output/reports expected etc.
6. Design phases dwells on building up a plan for proposed system in terms of the data files, report layouts, codification, program specifications, etc. that together make up the blueprint of the new system.
7. Coding (also known as programming) is writing programs based on the design. These programs activate the hardware to get the data and generate the desired reports.
8. Testing is essential to ascertain that all the computing components work well in harmony with each other and give out the expected results, when correct data is input.
9. Implementation is the roll out phase, where the software is passed on to users who install and run it for their every day operations.
10. Maintenance phase picks up once the software is implemented. It entails the corrective maintenance for removing the errors, if any, that have crept into the system; and the adaptive maintenance for incorporating the new requirements that are necessary due to changes in the business environment.
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