Software Development Life Cycle: Introduction to the Waterfall Model

 In General

The Software development life cycle is the complete process that takes place while developing software. There are many software development life cycles or SDLCs and each has its own importance in software development. The waterfall model is one of the oldest and most basic software development methodologies which is still followed (mostly in its various modernized versions) by many software development companies while developing software solutions.

The waterfall model is a linear process where a sequential methodology is followed and the project progress is monitored and measured according to the completion of each phase. Every software development company has a particular strategy of developing software solutions and clients should know about these SDLC models in order to choose the one that best suits their requirements.

The waterfall model consists of following phases:

· Requirements specification: The very first step in the waterfall model starts with requirement analysis and checking whether the project is actually feasible with the present technologies or not. Requirements are gathered, analyzed and then proper documentation is prepared which helps further in the development process.

· Design: The requirements gathered in the above phase are evaluated and a proper implementation strategy is formulated according to the software environment. The design phase is further categorized into two sections, i.e. system design and component design. The system design contains details and specifications of the whole system and explains how each component of the system will interact with others. The component design contains specifications as to how each component will work separately and how results from one component will travel to another. Individual coders are usually assigned to develop each component.

· Implementation: Now is the time to actually start creating the components. The information gathered in the first two phases is applied in this step to create the actual working parts of the system. The design generated in the above phase is converted into machine language that the computers can actually understand and process.

· Testing: The testing phase is where the software is checked for any errors or discrepancies. The testing of the software actually starts after the code is finished which is usually in the ending stages of implementation phase. Various different tools, software and strategies are used for testing the solution in order to make sure that it is error free.

· Installation: Once software is tested it needs to be assembled as a whole system and installed on the computer or required device. The installation phase should go smoothly if the above steps have been carefully completed.

· Maintenance: Maintenance is an ongoing process which may stretch from a few months to many years. It is a fact that all software has bugs no matter how cautiously it has been developed and tested. Furthermore, with the passage of time, requirements will also change and modifications or additions will be required to keep it effective. All this work comes under the umbrella term – maintenance.

Developing huge and critical software is not a very easy task. It requires expertise, skills, resources and experience to take up and successfully complete a proper business software development project. As a client you should be very careful while choosing the software development company for your project. It is very important that you partner with the right development company in order to receive the most suitable and effective solution.

About Author:

Amy Patrix is associated with Xicom Technologies, a renowned mobile and web application development company offering highly business centric and reliable custom PHP development services, custom .Net development services and mobile development services to clients spread all over the world.

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