A core methodology and framework designed to define tasks performed at every level of software development is termed as Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Systematic and proper implementation of every stage is required to run the cycle. There are several complexities during the completion of the cycle. With the procedure of SDLC, software companies across the globe are into software application development. To handle the complication, a cycle with distinctive software development phases is followed such as planning, analysis, design, development, testing, deployment and maintenance. The above steps are maintained in a structured flow.
In a simple and straightway let us show the different phases of the cycle:
1. Planning and Analysis: This is the most important and crucial stage in the software development cycle. Here, what has to be carried out in the later stages are planned and analyzed. Requirements of the customer, the target audience, etc are studied in detail. If this stage gets wrong then perfect implementation of other stages will be in vain. Once the requirements are set out clearly, the project plan is also created. This stage requires research and analysis by the host company and the clients.
2. Design: A well and detailed understanding of the client's requirements is needed. Once it is done software developers and designers start to design the software. This stage comprises of codes, dashboard designs, screen layouts, and other documentation. All the functional and technical requirements are met. The overall design architecture from hardware to the software are looked into. Failure in this stage will be a great disaster for the whole project in the long run.
3. Development: This phase involves the coding of the software. The task is allocated among the programmers based on their expertise on the module or the technology. After the code is created, compilation is done by the developers. This is generally the prolonged phase in SDLC. Clients are engaged regularly to ensure that their expectations are being met. The output of this phase is tested in the next phase. In the development phase designs are translated into source code. All the components of the software are implemented and the time taken to complete this phase is generally long due to the complexity.
4.Testing: An integrated system is created with different components and subsystems. Testing is needed due to clients satisfaction. It also needs hardware configuration and knowledge in coding for verification and validation. A team of personalized personnel is handed over the testing part. It has to be run regularly and automate the system for quick deployment. Unless the original specification is met testing continues and issues are fixed.
5. Deployment: After testing is done successfully, the software is delivered to the client. In this phase, the system is ready for deployment and installed on the client's premises. It is then ready to live. User training is required for the end-users to make sure they know how to use the system and to get familiar with it. The implementation phase also takes a long time and that depends on the complexity of the system and the accessibility of the client. 'Delivery of the software' is a common phrase used for deployment.
6. Maintenance: Necessary changes, the update of the software, correction in the codes are on the process once a software is delivered and is used by the client. Clients sometimes face issues, which are resolved and rectified within a stipulated time, which is generally termed as support services. The process of regular followup and making minor changes and enhancements on the software developed is maintenance.
To sum up, SDLC is important for custom software development and the structuring of a software application. Different SDLC models are studied depending on the requirement and purpose of the software application. Unless the requirements are met the cycle does not end. It does not work well and a certain level of uncertainty remains. Control of the development process ensuring system requirement is the greatest advantage of SDLC.