Life Cycle Management

Software Development Life Cycle

What Is The Software Development Life Cycle?

Software Development Life Cycle

The software development lifecycle refers to the structure and stages used in the software development process from initial product conception through to product development and follow up maintenance. Depending on the nature of the project, this may include follow up maintenance or new build releases as additional features are added. Software development companies and programmers follow a standardized software development life cycle methodology by adhering to formal procedures that are designed to suit the company culture, development environment, and to provide a structured methodology that project team members can adhere to. Computer graduates that complete their degree learn the structure of the software development life cycle as part of the course syllabus. The stages of the software development life cycle process are discussed below.

The first stage of the software development life cycle involves undertaking feasibility studies and defining the functionality and objectives of the software. Much of the initial planning and goal setting takes place at this level to create the basic project foundation. This can involve extensive consultation with intended end users to scope and bound the requirements of the project.

Software Development Life Cycle

The second stage is the system requirements stage of the software development life cycle. Further project refinement takes place to define project functionality, analyze end user needs and profile the software's intended application. This includes amending the software development project life cycle plan to iteratively refine the project goals. The support project documentation is finalised during the stage for hand over to the development team members.

The implementation stage of the project development life cycle is where the coding takes place. The programmer or programming teams are required to interpret the functional specification and to build the application accordingly. This includes interface design and compiling the code for the build stage of project development.

The integration and testing stage of the project development lifecycle is where the application is subject to a range of tests to determine robustness and functional requirements. The project plan outlines the range of testing requirements and the software must be checked for compliance with original intended functionality.

The acceptance stage of the project development lifecycle is where the product is accepted, installed and deployed in a real world working environment. Feedback from end users provides the platform for bug fixes or oversights that escape the development and testing stage. The product is bought to commercial market or deployed in the intended organization.

The maintenance stage of the software development lifecycle incorporates bug fixes, build updates and iterative refinement of the product as new developments are added and end users provide feedback from the real world operation of the software. This stage can go on for an indefinite period of time as part of the support framework required for commercial software development projects.

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