What is Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)?


SDLC is a process concerning software development project in a software organization. It describes, how to develop, maintain, replace and improve specific software. The life cycle describes a process for improving the quality of software and the complete development process.

SDLC Process Stage

1. Planning and Requirement Analysis

Requirement analysis is the mandatory stage in SDLC. It is conducted by the senior members of the team with inputs from the client, the sales department, market reviews and domain specialists in the enterprise. This report is then applied to plan the primary project approach and to conduct a product utility study in the economic, operational including technical areas.

Planning for the quality presumption requirements and classification of the risks associated with the project is also prepared in the planning stage. The outcome of the technical utility study is to define the different technical approaches that can be followed to achieve the project successfully with the least risks.

2.Defining Requirements

After the requirement review is made the next is to describe and document the product requirements and get them approved from the client or the market analysts. This is achieved through the Software Requirement Specification (SRS) document which consists of all the product requirements to be designed and developed throughout the project life cycle.

3.Designing the Product Architecture

SRS is the source for product architects to come out with the best architecture for the product to be produced. Based on the requirements defined in SRS, more than one design approach for the product architecture is recommended and documented in a Design Document Specification (DDS).

This DDS is estimated by stakeholders based on several parameters such as risk assessment, product robustness, design modularity, budget and time limitations, the best design approach is elected for the product.

A design strategy clearly defines all the architectural modules of the product with its communication and data flow illustration with the external and third-party modules. The internal design of all the modules of the recommended architecture should be clearly defined with the minutes of the details in DDS.

4.The building or Developing the Product

The genuine development starts and the product is built in this stage. The programming code is created as per DDS during this stage. If the design is made in a detailed and organized manner, code generation can be performed without much trouble.

Developers must follow the coding guidelines defined by their organization and programming tools which used to form the code. Different high-level programming languages such as C, C++, Pascal, Java, and PHP are employed for coding. The programming language is adopted with respect to the type of software developed.

5.Testing the Product

This stage is normally a subset of all the stages as in the modern SDLC models, the testing projects are mostly involved in all the stages of SDLC. This stage includes only product testing where product bugs are reported, tracked, fixed and retested until the product reaches to the expected quality standards.

6.Deployment in the Market and Maintenance

Once the product is tested and available to be deployed it is released formally in the appropriate market. Sometimes product deployment occurs in stages as per the business strategy of that organization. The product may first be published in a limited segment and tested in the actual business environment (UAT- User acceptance testing).

Then based on all feedback, the product may be released as it is or with proposed enhancements in the targeting market segment. After the product is released in the market, its maintenance is done for the existent customer support.

SDLC Models

  • Waterfall Model
  • Iterative Model
  • Spiral Model
  • V-Model
  • Big Bang Model

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