Software Development Life Cycle

Software Development Life Cycle

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Anshuman
Anshuman Singh
Senior Executive - Content
Updated on Oct 13, 2023 14:25 IST

Software development life cycle is very important topic in software engineering.This is the first topic you should cover when you studing software engineering.This article will uncover all the phases of SDLC with examples

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The Software Development Life Cycle refers to the phases of work involved in producing software applications. Each phase corresponds to a role or responsibility that contributors to the software must understand, manage, and optimize to deliver their software services with speed and performance.In this article we will cover Software Development Life Cycle and its phases.

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Table of contents

What is Software Development Life Cycle(SDLC)?

The software development lifecycle applies standard business practices for creating software applications. It is usually broken down into 6-8 steps: Plan, Require, Design, Build, Document, Test, Deploy, and Maintain. Some project managers combine, split, or omit steps depending on the project’s scope. These are the core components for the development of all software projects. The SDLC or software development life cycle covers the entire software creation process from planning to implementation. The cycle phase includes many steps focused on source code maintenance and preparation.

Why Software development life cycle?

  • The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a structured process that enables the production of high-quality, cost-effective software in the shortest production time.
  • The SDLC’s goal is to create great software that meets and exceeds all customer expectations and requirements.
  • The SDLC establishes a series of next phases that not only successfully complete development, but speed up the development process.
  • It deliver quality software solutions on time and within budget. Using a System Requirements Specification (SRS) document as a guide for your project will lead to customer satisfaction. Software requirements specification (SRS) is a document that describes what the software does and how it is expected to do. It also describes the features the product needs to meet the needs of all stakeholders (companies, users).
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Real-life example of software development life cycle

Now we will see the practical application of the software development life cycle process(SDLC). Suppose you have a cybercrime agency and wants to have software that can detect cyber attacks using machine learning. First, you have to decide what cost and time you can afford for the project. In short, you need to be clear about what you want and which service provider to approach. If you have no idea about the service provider, you can write your project specification on websites like LinkedIn, Upwork, and Freelancer. In that case, a service provider can contact you on their behalf. After reaching out to the service provider(Company) you should specify your all requirements.Then they will do planning accordingly.If it would be feasible for to take up your project then they will start doing desining of the project.The developers will do actual implementation by using different programming languages like C,C++,Python,JAVA etc. Once the project is ready it is tested by testing team and checked if the project meet the user requirements.Else it is sent back to the developing team for rework. If it is OK then the project is deployed and maintanence facility will be there after deployment.Maintaenence here means time to time upgradation of software,ensuring good functionality of software.Then let’s look at the SDLC steps one by one –

Different phases of SDLC

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1. Requirement gathering

In this phase, requirements regarding the project are gathered.

  • The customer will tell what is expected as output at the end.
  • For this business, analyst plays a significant role. He is a bridge between the Customer and the different teams working in the company, like the design team, testing team, development team, and different stake holders.
  • He is answerable to Customers on behalf of the company. He updates the Customer about the work and takes feedback from the Customer regarding the work done on the project from time to time. And inform the team accordingly. 

For example-

The following things will be discussed before starting the project

  1. Where will the project be deployed?
  2. Who will be the end users?
  3. At what time he wants this project to be complete, or is he flexible on it?
  4. What operations will be done, and how will it be done?

Once the requirements are understood, a Software Requirement Specification (SRS) document is created. Developers should follow this document carefully and should be checked by customers for future reference.

2. Planning

During this phase of the SDLC, the team determines the costs and resources needed to implement the analyzed requirements. It also describes the associated risks and provides partial plans for mitigating them. 

In other words, the team must determine the feasibility and how to successfully complete the project with minimal risk. During the planning phase, the development team gathers information from stakeholders involved in the project. Customers, Sales, Internal and External Experts, Developers. These inputs are synthesized into a detailed definition of the requirements for building the desired software. The team also determines the resources required to meet project requirements and derives associated costs.

For e.g., In this phase as mentioned above project team will check

  • Do they have machine learning experts who can work on it?
  • Are they free to take up the project?
  • Do they have software for implementing this machine learning project?
  • What cost will be there to implement this?
  • Is a need to buy new hardware or software or are any cloud services required?

3. Designing

This phase of the SDLC begins with transforming the software specification into a design plan called the design specification. All stakeholders will review this plan and provide feedback and suggestions. It is essential to develop a plan for gathering stakeholder input and incorporating it into this document. Failure to do so at this stage will almost certainly lead to cost overruns and complete project collapse in the worst case.

For example 

The Customer can tell what type of 

  • Layout 
  • Options 
  • Color or design of menu options,customer wants

Besides this, user can give feedback regarding

  • Input Controls: buttons, text fields, checkboxes, radio buttons, dropdown lists, list boxes, toggles, date field.
  • Navigational Components: slider, search field, slider, tags, icons.
  • Informational Components: tooltips, icons, progress bar, notifications, message boxes, modal windows.

4. Development/Implementation

During this phase of the SDLC, the actual development begins, and programming is built. Implementing a design starts with writing code. Developers must follow coding guidelines outlined by management and use programming tools such as compilers, interpreters, and debuggers to develop and implement code. 

5. Testing

After the code is generated, it is tested against the requirements to ensure that the product meets the requirements addressed and captured during the requirements phase. Unit, integration, system, and acceptance tests are performed in this phase. In this, testers will test 

  • If the code is giving output
  • If the project is done according to the user requirements
  • If the product/project is working in all types of conditions
  • If any further improvements are needed.

6. Deployment

Once the software testing phase is complete, and the system is bug-free and error-free, the final deployment process begins. The final software is released and checked for deployment issues based on project manager feedback. Based on your evaluation, you can either publish the software as is or suggest and publish improvements to the object segments. Once the software is deployed, its maintenance begins.

7. Maintenance

Developers should enter maintenance mode and practice the necessary activities to resolve issues reported by end users. Additionally, the developer is responsible for implementing necessary software changes after deployment. This may include addressing remaining bugs that could not be patched before release or resolving new issues that users have reported based on her reports. 

In this phase, do the following-

  • Ensure that your information system is fully functional and performs optimally throughout the system’s life. 
  • Ensure continued support and upgrades.
  • Ensures repairs or patchwork (if required).
  • Ensures any feature to be added.
  • Change of functioning in future.

Conclusion

The work done in each phase is crucial because it shapes the final product. Each work detail yields a better version of the final product because it increases efficiency and reduces errors. Additionally, each phase requires a certain amount of planning time- without that time spent early on in the development cycle, little work would get done later on. In addition to planning work, developers must be careful while they implement new features into the software. Incorrectly implementing features can lead to major bugs in the resulting software.

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FAQs

What is SDLC?

A software development life cycle (SDLC) is a well-defined procedure for creating high-quality, cost-effective software in the shortest amount of time. The purpose of SDLC is to develop superior software that exceeds all customer expectations and requirements. SDLC creates and describes a detailed plan containing steps or phases, each with its own process and outcomes. It covers the entire development process including all tasks related to planning, developing, testing and selling software products.

What is the importance of the SDLC process?

1. Provides structure for a standard set of projects and deliverables. 2. Support your growth process by increasing project plan visibility for all stakeholders. 3. Ensure that the design and testing process leading up to solution release is well-managed. This is the most effective way to manage and track projects. 4. It helps accelerate development and improve customer relationships. 5. Helps reduce project risks and more

Explain the importance of the design stage?

Requirements are specified in the form of documents. It is then converted into logical constructs that must be implemented in a particular programming language. The design phase also helps specify hardware and system requirements. You can also define the complete system architecture. The output is intended to document that it serves as input for all subsequent SDLC phases.

About the Author
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Anshuman Singh
Senior Executive - Content

Anshuman Singh is an accomplished content writer with over three years of experience specializing in cybersecurity, cloud computing, networking, and software testing. Known for his clear, concise, and informative wr... Read Full Bio

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