The systems development life cycle (SDLC), also known as the application development life cycle in systems engineering, information systems, and software engineering, is a method for designing, building, testing, and deploying an information system. As a system might be built of hardware solely, software only, or a combination of both, the systems development life cycle idea applies to a wide range of hardware and software combinations. This cycle typically consists of six stages: requirement analysis, design, development and testing, implementation, documentation, and assessment.
Phase 1 – Planning Requirement & Analysis
The most crucial and fundamental stage in SDLC is requirement analysis. It is carried out by senior members of the team with input from the client, the sales department, market surveys, and industry domain specialists. This data is then utilised to establish the main project strategy and undertake product feasibility studies in economic, operational, and technical aspects.
The planning step also includes the preparation for quality assurance needs and the identification of project hazards. The technical feasibility study will describe the various technical techniques that may be used to effectively perform the project while minimising risks.
Phase 2 – Defining Requirements
Determining what the application is meant to achieve and its needs is considered part of the planning process. A social networking programme, for example, would need the ability to connect with a buddy. A search function may be required for an inventory programme.
The resources required to create the project are also defined as requirements. A team may, for example, create software to control a specialised manufacturing equipment. The machine is required for the procedure.
Phase 3 – Designing the Product Architecture
The design functions and processes are documented in depth in systems design, including screen layouts, business rules, process diagrams, and other documentation. This stage’s result will be a description of the new system as a collection of modules or subsystems.
The needs listed in the approved requirements document serve as the starting input for the design stage. As a consequence of interviews, workshops, and/or prototype efforts, a collection of one or more design components will be developed for each need.
In general, design elements include functional hierarchy diagrams, screen layout diagrams, tables of business rules, business process diagrams, pseudo-code, and a comprehensive entity-relationship diagram with a full data dictionary. These design components are meant to define the system in enough depth that competent developers and engineers can construct and deploy the system with little extra design input.
Phase 4 – Software Development
The real development of the product begins at this level of the SDLC. During this stage, the programming code is generated in accordance with DDS. Code generation may be conducted without much difficulty if the design is detailed and structured.
Developers must adhere to their organization’s coding rules, and programming tools such as compilers, interpreters, debuggers, and so on are used to create code. For coding, many high-level programming languages such as C, C++, Pascal, Java, and PHP are utilised. The programming language is chosen based on the sort of software being created.
Phase 5 – Testing
It is vital to test a programme before releasing it to consumers. Much of the testing, such as security testing, may be automated. Other testing can only be done in a specific context; for complicated deployments, consider developing a simulated production environment. Each function should be tested to ensure that it operates properly. Different elements of the programme should also be evaluated to ensure that they function together seamlessly—performance testing, to eliminate any hitches or delays in processing. The testing step aids in reducing the amount of faults and malfunctions seen by consumers. This results in increased user satisfaction and increased use.
Phase 6 – Deployment & Maintenance
Once the product has been thoroughly tested and is ready for deployment, it is formally released in the relevant market. Product deployment may occur in stages depending on the organization’s business plan. The product may first be introduced in a small market sector and tested in a real-world business setting (UAT- User acceptance testing).
The product may then be released as is or with proposed enhancements in the targeted market niche depending on the feedback. Following the product’s release to the market, it is maintained for the current client base.
Various software development life cycle models have been established and intended to be used during the software development process. These are also known as Software Development Process Models.” To assure success in the software development process, each process model follows a unique set of procedures.
The following are the most essential and widely used SDLC models in the industry:
- Waterfall Model
- Iterative Model
- Spiral Model
- Big Bang Model
Other related methodologies are Agile Model, RAD Model, Rapid Application Development and Prototyping Models.