The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a structured framework used by software organizations to manage software projects. It encompasses a comprehensive plan that outlines the procedures for creating, maintaining, updating, or enhancing specific software applications. This life cycle serves as a systematic approach for enhancing software quality and refining the overall software development process.
A standard Software Development Life Cycle typically encompasses the following key phases:
- Planning and Requirement Analysis
- Defining Requirements
- Designing the Product Architecture
- Building or Developing the Product
- Testing the Product
- Deployment in the Market and Maintenance
What is Mean By SDLC Models
In the above context, we saw what is SDLC, now let’s see what are SDLC models. Numerous software development life cycle models have been formulated and tailored for use in the software development process. These models are commonly known as “Software Development Process Models.” Each of these models involves a distinct series of steps that are specific to its type, with the ultimate aim of ensuring the successful execution of the software development process.
Here are some of the significant and widely adopted SDLC models in the industry:
- Waterfall Model
- Iterative Model
- Spiral Model
- Big Bang Model
More such models are Agile Model, RAD Model, Rapid Application Development and Prototyping Models.
Types of SDLC Models
Now, let’s look at the types of SDLC Models in detail:
1. Waterfall Model:
The Waterfall Model, also known as the linear-sequential life cycle model, was the pioneering process model in software development. It boasts simplicity and ease of comprehension. In the Waterfall model, each phase must be finalized before the subsequent one commences, and there is no concurrency between phases.
The Waterfall Model represents a straightforward, step-by-step progression in software development. It adheres to a strictly linear sequence, meaning that the initiation of any phase depends on the completion of the preceding one. This model enforces a non-overlapping approach for its phases.
2. Iterative Model:
The Iterative model is characterized by an approach where development begins with a basic implementation of a limited set of software requirements. This initial version is gradually improved through iterations until the entire system is fully developed and prepared for deployment.
Unlike other models, the Iterative model does not require a comprehensive initial specification of all requirements. Instead, it kicks off by defining and implementing a portion of the software, which is then assessed to identify additional requirements. This cycle is repeated, generating a new version of the software after each iteration in the model.
3. Spiral Model:
The Spiral model is a fusion of iterative development principles with the structured control elements of the waterfall model. It effectively blends iterative development with a sequential, step-by-step approach, emphasizing rigorous risk analysis. This model enables the gradual release of the product or step-by-step enhancement with each iteration within the spiral framework.
The V-Model also referred to as the Verification and Validation model, is a structured SDLC approach where processes unfold sequentially in a V-shaped pattern. It’s essentially an extension of the waterfall model, integrating testing at each stage of development. In this model, every development phase has a directly corresponding testing phase. It operates with a high level of discipline, as each subsequent phase only commences once the preceding phase is successfully completed.
5. Big Bang Model:
The Big Bang model is an SDLC approach that lacks a structured process. Development begins with the allocation of resources and effort, and the end result is the software, which may or may not align with customer requirements. This model operates without a defined process or extensive planning. Often, customers may not have a clear understanding of their needs, and requirements are incorporated on the go without in-depth analysis.
Typically, the Big Bang model is employed for small projects involving compact development teams.
6. RAD Model
The RAD (Rapid Application Development) model hinges on prototyping and iterative development without the need for extensive upfront planning. In this approach, the software writing process inherently encompasses the necessary planning for product development.
RAD prioritizes customer involvement through activities like workshops and focus groups. It involves early testing of prototypes by the customer in an iterative fashion, encourages the reuse of existing prototype components, emphasizes continuous integration, and ensures swift delivery of the product.
7. Software Prototype Model:
Software prototyping involves constructing prototypes of a software application to showcase its functionality during development. These prototypes may not replicate the precise logic of the final software.
The popularity of software prototyping as a development model is on the rise because it facilitates an early grasp of customer requirements. It allows for valuable input from the customer, aiding software designers and developers in gaining a clear understanding of the precise expectations for the product in development.
Advantages of SDLC Models
We saw what is SDLC models now understanding the advantages sheds light on why SDLC and its various models enjoy popularity and contribute to the effectiveness of the software development process.
- Structured Approach: A structured approach is a key feature of SDLC, offering a well-organized framework for software development. This structured approach aids developers in efficient planning and organization of their tasks. Furthermore, it plays a crucial role in reducing errors, enhancing productivity, and ensuring the punctual delivery of software.
- Risk Management: SDLC plays a significant role in risk management by pinpointing and addressing potential risks in software development. It allows for early identification of risks, enabling developers to take proactive measures to minimize these risks, ultimately leading to a reduction in the overall risk associated with the software development process
- Consistency: It guarantees consistency throughout the software development process through its standardized framework and methodology. This consistent approach not only elevates software quality but also assures that the final product aligns with the client’s expectations.
- Collaboration: SDLC fosters collaboration among team members through the use of a shared application framework and a common language for communication. This collaborative environment plays a pivotal role in enhancing the software’s overall quality and guaranteeing that the final product aligns with the client’s specifications.
- Cost-effective: SDLC models prove to be cost-effective by identifying potential problems in the early stages of development, often utilizing prototype software such as Figma. This early issue identification enables developers to proactively address them, resulting in a reduced overall development cost.