Soft­ware is the collec­tion of inst­ruc­tions that com­pu­ters use to pro­cess data into infor­ma­ti­on. This soft­ware gui­des the com­pu­ter on what to do and hel­ps users to inter­act with the com­pu­ter as well. The soft­ware is crea­ted using a pro­cess that is known as soft­ware deve­lo­p­ment. Soft­ware deve­lo­p­ment is the pro­cess of crea­ting soft­ware in suc­ces­si­ve steps in an order­ly man­ner. The­se steps are also known as pha­ses and are deli­be­ra­te. The­se pha­ses are collec­tively known as the Soft­ware Deve­lo­p­ment Life Cycle (SDLC). The pro­cess of soft­ware deve­lo­p­ment invol­ves coding as well as design and eva­lua­ti­on of the final pro­gram. The­re are a num­ber of pha­ses of soft­ware development.

Soft­ware Deve­lo­p­ment Life Cycle (SDLC)

This life cycle is made up of pha­ses that are fol­lo­wed when deve­lo­ping soft­ware. The steps can be arran­ged accord­ing to a num­ber of models. Each model has the­se pha­ses of soft­ware deve­lo­p­ment in a dif­fe­rent order, and thus each model is uni­que to the next. Examp­les of the­se models are the water­fall, incre­men­tal, V and ite­ra­ti­ve model.

1. Rese­arch and Ana­ly­sis Phase
The first step is the rese­arch and ana­ly­sis pha­se. In this pha­se, the requi­re­ments of the busi­ness, whe­re the soft­ware is going to be imple­men­ted, are collec­ted and ana­ly­sed. During the rese­arch and ana­ly­sis pha­se, the pro­ject mana­gers and busi­ness sta­ke hol­ders are con­sul­ted a lot. Fac­tors, such as the peop­le expec­ted to use the soft­ware, how they will use it, as well as the input and out­put data, are deter­mi­ned. After this pha­se, a docu­ment known as the Requi­re­ment Spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­on is pro­du­ced and used as a gui­de for the rest of the soft­ware deve­lo­p­ment phases.

2. Design Phase
In this pha­se, the software’s phy­si­cal and logi­cal design is con­duc­ted. This is accom­plis­hed with the gui­d­ance of the Requi­re­ments Spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­on docu­ment. In phy­si­cal design, the hard­ware requi­re­ments for the new soft­ware are deter­mi­ned. This is essen­ti­al, sin­ce the hard­ware that is cho­sen in this step will be used to imple­ment the soft­ware, once it is laun­ched. The logi­cal design of the soft­ware, which deals with the steps and pro­ces­ses the soft­ware will exe­cu­te so as to per­form its inten­ded pur­po­se, is also con­duc­ted at this stage.

3. Coding Phase
This is the peri­od when the pro­gramm­ers actual­ly get to wri­te the soft­ware. This is done by use of spe­cial pro­gramming lan­guages, for instance, Java, C, C++, C# and Python. The pro­gramm­ers in this pha­se depend on the Requi­re­ments Spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­on and the soft­ware design results to gui­de them in their coding. This pha­se is often the most time-con­suming one in the ent­i­re SDLC.

4. Tes­ting Phase
Once the soft­ware has been writ­ten, it is put under tes­ting. This is done so as to see how it will per­form when ti is imple­men­ted in the real world. The soft­ware is tes­ted accord­ing to the Requi­re­ments Spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­on to see if it satis­fies all the set requi­re­ments. Moreo­ver, addi­tio­nal tests like unit, sys­tem, inte­gra­ti­on and accep­t­ance tests are con­duc­ted as well. The real life con­di­ti­ons of the cli­ent are imple­men­ted in this pha­se and the soft­ware is tes­ted for the deve­lo­pers to see if it can with­stand the con­di­ti­ons and sol­ve the pro­blems that it was crea­ted for.

Bene­fits of the SDLC

The­re are a num­ber of bene­fits of using the Soft­ware Deve­lo­p­ment Life Cycle (SDLC) to deve­lop soft­ware. To start with, you are able to crea­te soft­ware in a cost-effec­ti­ve man­ner. The rese­arch and ana­ly­sis as well as the design pha­se help to make soft­ware that meets the requi­re­ments of the cli­ent. Thus, the­re are no extra unne­cessa­ri­ly expen­si­ve fea­tures. Moreo­ver, the SDLC hel­ps to make a soft­ware pro­duct that is effec­ti­ve, as it meets the needs of the cli­ent and effi­ci­ent­ly sol­ves the inten­ded pro­blems. When the SDLC is fol­lo­wed to the let­ter, the resul­ting soft­ware is of high qua­li­ty. This means that it will not have bugs and will per­form as expec­ted or even bet­ter than the cli­ent wis­hed. Thus, the cli­ent is satis­fied and their busi­ness bene­fits as well. The SDLC has pha­ses that help the cli­ent and sta­ke­hol­ders to beco­me part of the soft­ware deve­lo­p­ment pro­cess, whe­re they are allo­wed to give their reviews and insight. This results in a high qua­li­ty pro­duct that satis­fies their needs and pro­mo­tes gene­ral satis­fac­tion for the cli­ent and ever­y­bo­dy else concerned.