The Software Development Life Cycle, also known as SDLC, is a framework used to define the different steps followed during the development of software applications. It details the plans involved in developing, deploying, and maintaining the applications.
SDLC offers detailed information regarding the entire development cycle. This covers the tasks and activities involved when planning, building, testing, monitoring, and deploying applications.
SDLC is important in making sure that everyone involved in a project understands the goal or the problem being solved. With large projects, people can easily get ahead of themselves or lose focus. SDLC ensures that this does not happen.
It also allows developers to monitor their activities to ensure that the project is on track. There is a lot of debate with regards to observability vs monitoring. While monitoring notifies developers when something is wrong and allows them to remain on track, observability allows them to understand why something is wrong.
In addition, SDLC ensures that there is clarity when working on projects. This means that developers have to complete a certain phase before moving on to the next one.
Stages of Software Development Cycle
This phase dictates that the project team should collect all the relevant information from customers to ensure that the project is developed matching their expectations. If there are any ambiguities, they should be cleared here before moving to the next phase.
The project manager and business analysts are heavily involved in this stage. They are the ones who meet with customers to understand things like what the customer wants, the purpose of the project, and how the product should work.
Here, the project team members look at the requirements gathered in the previous stage and use them as input to derive a software architecture. This architecture is vital when it comes to the implementation of system development.
Coding or Implementation
Once the software architecture is derived and handed over to developers, coding or implementation can start.
Developers use the architecture or software design and then translate it into code. Here, all the functionalities and components of the software application are implemented before moving to the next phase.
After developers are done with writing all the code that is needed to run the software application, they release all the modules of the application for testing.
In this stage, testers are required to thoroughly test the developed software application to check for any bugs or errors that might exist. Automation is changing software testing especially for large projects and is playing a major role in this phase.
In case there are bugs or errors, they are assigned back to the developers to have them rectified. The application is tested again and goes through regression testing to a point where it works just like the customer expects it to.
Now that the software application has been tested and testers have made sure that it meets all the expectations of the customer, the next stage involves deployment.
Here, all the modules are integrated together through developer efforts. This is done through different test environments to check for any further errors that might exist.
This is a complicated phase and most project managers prefer taking it through different steps before deploying the product into the live environment. The application is then integrated and installed into the live server.
After that, the product is ready for release and can be given to the customers.
Releasing the product to the market is not the last stage of the software development life cycle. After deployment, developers are required to begin the process of maintaining the product. Here, they need to ensure that any issues that might be reported by the end-users are handled without any problems.
In addition, building the software application does not mean that it will never be changed. At times, developers might be required to add new features and change some of the existing features. This is done in phases and might involve versioning the software product.
The maintenance stage also involves rectifying residual bugs that could not be detected before or taking care of issues that are detected by the end-users.
Software development is crucial for every organization. When building software products, organizations need to make sure that they are following the software development cycle for their products to be successful.