A software development life cycle (SDLC) is a series of phases that an application goes through from start to finish in order to become a fully functioning software product. There are actually a number of methodologies used. However, the major stages of the SDLC remain the same regardless of the methodology used to develop the software.
Every software development cycle has several phases. Here's what they entail:
1. Requirement Analysis, Gathering, and Definition
This is one of the most important SDLC stages. It involves meetings among all the stakeholders, including end users and the design team, in order to determine the requirements of all parties. If a system already exists, it needs to be analyzed for shortfalls and challenges, which will then be documented as part of the new requirements.
Each of the stakeholders' needs should also be documented as part of the requirements. Facts can be obtained through questionnaires, interviews, surveys, and even existing documentations.
This stage can take a while because stakeholders must be satisfied with the requirements before starting development.
2. Software Design
Design in this process refers to the creation of layouts and architecture that will be used to produce the end software model. During this phase, the requirements you gather will be used to determine the hardware and software features, pseudo-code, business diagrams, screen layouts, and process diagrams.
Coding is the actual process of implementing the designs created from the requirements that you have managed to gather. The coding process is one of the longest phases of the SDLC. It will mainly involve the developer who will create the code based on existing modules. The coding has to be done right because it will determine whether the software ends up working properly or not.
4. Testing and Integration
All modules that have been coded will be integrated after individual testing. Testing will then be done on the system as a whole.
Testing is necessary because it helps check the created software for bugs, incompatibility with requirements, and other errors that may have occurred. The system will also undergo stress testing to determine whether it is scalable and able to remain operational under pressure.
Once the software has been tested in all manner of ways, you will need to accept it if it works as it should. After that, it has to be installed and deployed.
Deployment may also entail user training. This kind of training is usually necessary to help users become familiar with the new software and enable them to use it effectively.
Deployment is also incomplete without the software being used in a real-life setting. Stakeholders need to use the software to carry out normal business operations for the product to be considered a success.
Maintenance involves dealing with any problems that come up regarding the software during use. When users complain about certain issues, the problems affecting the system must be handled to improve the software. All this is part of software maintenance and it can go on for a number of years until a new system is needed.
Regardless of the approach or methodology used, the software development life cycle needs to be followed to the letter. It will determine the success of any software product that you intend to create and use in a real life setting.