Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

What is SDLC?

SDLC is a process followed for a software project within a software organization. It consists of a detailed plan describing developing, maintaining, replacing, altering, or enhancing specific software. The life cycle defines a methodology for improving the quality of software and the overall development process.

Planning and Requirement Analysis

Requirement analysis is the most fundamental stage in SDLC. The senior members of the team perform it with inputs from the customer, the sales department, market surveys, and domain experts in the industry. This information is then used to plan the basic project approach and to conduct product feasibility studies in the economic, operational, and technical areas. Planning for the quality assurance requirements and identifying the risks associated with the project is also done in the planning stage. The outcome of the technical feasibility study is to define the various technical approaches that can be followed to implement the project successfully with minimum risks.

Defining Requirements

Once the requirement analysis is done, the next step is to clearly define and document the product requirements and get them approved by the customer or the market analysts. This is done through an SRS (Software Requirement Specification) document, which consists of all the product requirements to be designed and developed during the project life cycle.

Designing the Product Architecture

SRS is the reference for product architects to develop the best architecture for the product to be developed. Based on the requirements specified in SRS, more than one design approach for the product architecture is usually proposed and documented in a DDS – Design Document Specification. All the critical stakeholders review this DDS, and based on various parameters such as risk assessment, product robustness, design modularity, budget, and time constraints, the best design approach is selected for the product. A design approach clearly defines all the architectural modules of the product along with its communication and data flow representation with the external and third-party modules (if any). The internal design of all the modules of the proposed architecture should be clearly defined with the minutest of the details in DDS.

Building or Developing the Product

In this stage of SDLC, the actual development starts, and the product is built. The programming code is generated as per DDS during this stage. If the design is detailed and organized, code generation can be easily accomplished. Developers must follow the coding guidelines defined by their organization, and programming tools like compilers, interpreters, debuggers, etc, are used to generate the code. Different high-level programming languages such as C, C++, Pascal, Java, and PHP are used for coding. The programming language is chosen according to the type of software being developed.

Testing the Product

This stage is usually a subset of all the stages as in the modern SDLC models; the testing activities are primarily involved in all the stages of SDLC. However, this stage refers to the testing-only stage of the product, where product defects are reported, tracked, fixed, and retested until the product reaches the quality standards defined in the SRS.

Deployment in the Market and Maintenance

Once the product is tested and ready to be deployed, it is released formally in the appropriate market. Sometimes, product deployment happens in stages as per the business strategy of that organization. The product may first be released in a limited segment and tested in the natural business environment (UAT- User acceptance testing).
Then, based on the feedback, the product may be released as it is or with suggested enhancements in the targeted market segment. After the product is released in the market, its maintenance is done for the existing customer base.

SDLC Models

Various software development life cycle models are defined and designed during the software development process. These models are also referred to as Software Development Process Models”. Each process model follows a Series of steps unique to its type to ensure success in the software development process.
Following are the most important and popular SDLC models followed in the industry −
Other related methodologies are the Agile, RAD, Rapid Application Development, and Prototyping Models.

In this Software Testing Tutorial, we will learn about the software development life cycle or SDLC. The software development life cycle is the process that you follow to start developing the software and deliver it until the software is deployed and maintained. This whole process is known as the software development life cycle (SDLC).

The Software Development lifecycle has different phases that ensure that the work within a particular phase is completed before moving to the next phase of SDLC.