The Software Development Lifecycle, also known as SDLC, refers to clearly defined processes that are used to create quality software. There are between six and eight steps of the SDLC, which we’ll be exploring in this blog post.
Ultimately, sticking to the SDLC can help to streamline the software development process, aiding in measurement and improvement.
Read on to learn more about software development, including the lifecycle of software development. We’ll be delving into the key stages of software development, from analysis to deployment and maintenance.
At its core, software development is the process of designing, creating, and deploying software. It is beneficial to a range of industries - whether it be software development for marketing or media, and is even used in the aerospace industry.
At Blacklight Software, our team of development experts have conducted work for clients in a range of industries. We have vast experience using platforms and processes such as .NET, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Sharepoint, and Azure. We can create bespoke software that can improve your business operations and boost customer satisfaction.
There are three key types of software - for example, system software which provides core functions (e.g utilities, hardware management and operating systems). Programming software is another type of software, which provides programmers with tools that can create code.
Application software is the third form of software and is becoming more prevalent with the rise in technology. Essentially, application software helps you to perform taste, whether it be regarding security, data management, or media. This can also include mobile and web apps that can be used for business or pleasure.
The SDLC is the standard practice in the software development industry, used to build software applications.
There are eight steps involved in this life cycle model - Analysis, Planning, Defining the Requirements, Design, Development, Testing, Deployment, and Maintenance. However, some developers will combine or omit steps depending on the project at hand.
The first stage of software development involves conducting a thorough analysis to determine the problem. Identifying where the problem lies, as well as potential vulnerabilities is key to proceeding to the next stage of the SDLC. Many software experts will combine this stage with the planning stage.
The planning stage is an integral aspect of the software development process - it is essentially the foundation of any work going forward. Planning typically involves the evaluation of the product terms, which can include creating goals and timetables, as well as building the team for the project and appointing project managers.
If it’s a large project or a particularly difficult one, a larger team will be needed. Costs will also be factored in during the planning stage - both material and labour costs. Creating a detailed and high-quality plan for the software development project will allow the team to define the scope of the application, and plot the course of action going ahead.
This phase of the SDLC may be merged with the planning stage, as it involves determining the purpose and requirements of the software. For example, a bespoke CRM system (customer relationship management) will need to function well by improving the customer experience, as well as building and managing customer relationships.
Developers need to identify any features to include, as well as determine what obstacles may occur. This stage essentially defines the resources needed for the project as well as the requirements.
The design stage of the project essentially models how the software will function - focusing on the programming and architecture of the software. This generally involves defining the programming language and the industry practices.
The software development team will begin to create the interface and decide the platforms on which the software will be run. Some developers will build a prototype during this stage - which can ultimately reduce risk.
Security is something that should be covered during the design stage - ensuring that the software is protected is paramount. Measures should be taken to ensure the user’s passwords and personal data will be secure.
The development stage is where the action happens. A team of developers or a single developer (depending on the scale of the project) will write the program out either using an Access Control or Source Code Management application. This can help the developers to track any changes in the code.
Software testing is critical to ensure it’s accessible, usable, and functional. The testing phase can include application security testing, testing the performance, as well as reducing lags in processing.
Each aspect of the software should be thoroughly tested before the deployment stage of the development lifecycle. Many tests can be automated, but others will be conducted in a certain environment - for example, a simulated production environment or demo.
Ultimately, thorough testing will improve user experience and satisfaction - and can save time and money in the long term.
Once the software has been tested, the application can be deployed - making it available for use. Depending on how complex the project is, deployment can be manual or automated.
Smaller-scale deployments may involve downloading the application onto a phone or device - however, more complex projects may call for a more extensive approach.
This is the final stage of the SDLC - and it is a vital one. This may involve discovering any issues with the software and resolving them, or simply providing ongoing maintenance on the software. This can also involve including additional features for future software releases - each of which may involve a new software development cycle.
Development teams may also request user feedback, which enables them to build new features and identify bugs or other issues. Developers should look after the software, and keep it up-to-date and available on the relevant platforms.
It’s important to note that the SDLC will vary depending on the team, the project, and the client. If you’re looking for bespoke software development services, our team of experts at Blacklight Software can help.