A Guide To Understanding The Process Of Software Development

Many business people don’t fully understand the complexity of a software development process. It’s natural, since specialized books about development are read by developers and other IT people, and many others might still be referring to a software project as ”coding” or ”writing”. With better luck one might add ‘designing’ and ‘testing’. Quite inaccurate.

One can think of several metaphorical comparisons to describe software development, such as writing a book or building a house. Some of them are a good light in the dark, some are rather misleading. And while many people may argue whether creating software is an art, a science, or a precisely elaborated process, we’d leave that choice to someone else. It cannot be described sparsely. But we’ll try to give some descriptions and comparisons in a compact and clear way.

Do We ”Write” Software?

One of the common but rather vague things is comparing creating software with writing. Writing code, writing a book, and so on. You can start writing a book without a plan and go with the flow; with custom software development you cannot, unless developers do a rather small piece of software on their own – and for themselves. Moreover, an outsourced software project never starts with writing code.

Books and software may both have strict deadlines. But once a book is published, what’s written is written; rewriting is not an option. But software keeps being under constant improvement with new versions being released – it’s a natural thing. It’s almost impossible to get every need of your end user, catch up with business and technological changes once and for a lifetime. Books aren’t that dependent on changes; software is. But that’s good: your software, unlike a book, can’t become just another mediocre thing on the market, can’t become irrelevant and outdated. The processes are absolutely different: we prefer using the words ”create” or ”build” software rather than ”write”.

Do We ”Grow” Software?

”Growing” software on a good basis and a good set of documentation is possible to a certain extent. Like with writing, it’s not the best description one can suggest. It partially gets the incremental, agile nature of making and maintaining relevant software. But while ”growing”, the product is rarely tasty until it’s ripe, and the owner has to wait awhile.

The difference is, in software development there are different stages of being ”ripe”. Startups usually demand rolling a minimum viable software product on the market, getting feedback and making corrections and improvements. Each version is more ”ripe” than its predecessor, and it has to be ”watered” by support and maintenance, kept fresh amidst all the business and technological changes.

Do We ”Build” Software?

This one is considered by many specialists the closest way to describe software development, and we can agree with that. Construction works show the huge importance of careful planning, preparing, guiding the work, and performing it. The limits of software depend on how its architecture is constructed. The amount of works doesn’t grow gradually, since every building is different, and requires different approach. There can be a hospital, an office building, a school or a barn, and same physical size doesn’t mean equal amount of labour. Something is done with concrete, something can be done with wood and nails, and the latter doesn’t work well with complex and valuable software for mobile startups and other businesses.

– Everything depends on the kind of a building you need. You need to figure out the problem the software will solve, and conduct the necessary preparations, do market research, gather info, etc. The more complex your software is, the more resources must be spent on planning. Bad planning – and the whole app fails, falls like a house of cards by the first gust of a wind.

– Then you and your chief architect (project manager) can proceed to design that perfectly combines functional requirements and interface, resulting in proper user experience. Sure you want those who will work or live in the building to be fully satisfied with it. Same thing with software. One more good thing, once the design is approved, it’s way easier to give more precise estimations for the remainder of the construction (development) works.

– When furnishing a house, you needn’t building things you can buy: household appliances and furniture. It’s much cheaper and way faster. Same with software: if your software development team is experienced, it will use all the available resources to stay away from writing needless basic things: there are lots of software toolkits, frameworks, classes, and libraries for that, each for a particular case. And if the team means business, they will easily find tools and technologies that will get your tasks done as fast as possible. Custom pieces of furniture take more time and efforts, but in most cases there are already existing pre-built ways to save your time and money without compromising security and efficiency of your software.

– There will always be changes in functional requirements. Again, changes can painlessly happen within the planned architecture. Here we once more emphasize the importance of preparations – although this topic is worthy of a separate article. And we cannot go anywhere without mentioning quality assurance, which constantly checks different aspects of how the software works. What’s more – even a minor change involves testing, so that’s not the place to cut the costs (in fact, QA usually takes about 30% of the whole development time).

– Optimization of software (inner walls of a building) is limited to the approved architecture, and here main expenses are all about labour, not materials. But what you receive in the end is better software and satisfied users. Meanwhile users speak their minds on what they would like the apartments to look – and one should never neglect these opinions.

– One more thing worth noting – a good architect (or a good creative expert in software development) is always ready to consult you on things that should be solved immediately, and what can be left for later without breaking your plans or the quality of your software. You are most likely to not know the subtleties of the technical side – so leave making suggestions and explanations to your team. Unless you are an experienced IT person and you needn’t reading this article to get these insights.

As you can see, the last example is really the closest, and the list of similarities can be continued forever. But the ones we presented here should be enough to understand the process of software development, which is impossible without patience, expertise of the team, and mutual understanding.

Benefits of Outsourcing Bespoke Software Development

Bespoke Software development is usually thought of as being synonymous with custom development, primarily because the development process involves designing the application to meet the needs of the specific business, large organization or other customer. Much of the technology involved in Bespoke development deals largely within technology. Examples of such positions include enterprise reporting, data warehousing and those working within Internet technology services (IT). Additional functions can include the integration of business applications, data modeling and the like.

An Overview of Bespoke Software Development

Specializing in software development and management, Bespoke development includes a wide array of support functions. Most software is capable of dealing with many different support functions, and it is usually almost irrelevant whether the project relates to the needs of web-based applications or consists of much larger enterprise-level applications. In most cases, enterprise-level jobs tend to be more complex and present additional difficulties with integration.

The size of the job does not usually impact the effectiveness of the Bespoke Software process. As a result, although a specific large (or small) job might present a more difficult, complex situation to work within, that is the only potential impediment to the development process. In essence, Bespoke Software development delivers software that is created in accordance with the specific customer’s needs.

Ease of the Bespoke Software Development Process and Customization

The high degree of software customization attainable through Bespoke Software is one of the primary reasons this software is so valuable to businesses and other organizations. In fact, the high level of customization makes software developed in this manner some of the most valuable software available because most applications are unique to the specific customer they are developed for. The customizability of Bespoke Software gives organizations an edge when studying trends or other high market value needs.

Because of the high level of customization it provides, additional windows of opportunity begin opening for organizations using Bespoke Software. For example, this customizability permits the creation of applications for tracking trends and a variety of other purposes. It also contributes to the software a higher level of ease with processes. Businesses and other organizations engaged in their own software development often find that Bespoke Software enables them to more easily identify trouble areas and therefore concentrate on one specific area.

The Life Cycle of Bespoke Software Development Methodology

The methodology involved in the life cycle of Bespoke Software primarily consists of frequent, automated, iterative development in addition to maintaining a high degree of communication. The primary purpose of this methodology relates to reducing the time necessary for the development of the desired software. Usually, the methodology’s life cycle begins with a meeting, after which a proposal is presented. Once agreement is reached, a contract is signed and development begins. Following the completion of the software, a series of tests are performed before the final product is deployed.

In summary, Bespoke Software offers a large number of benefits for the customer.

The main benefits include the following:

  • The creation of unique, one-of-a-kind software to meet the customer’s specific needs
  • An increased control over configurability, ensuring things are the way the customer wants them
  • A high degree of usability
  • A high level of ease of use
  • An increase in productivity through automation
  • A high potential for integration
  • The software tends to have fewer errors

The Basic Methodology of Software Development Services

Software development is a technically complex process which goes through various stages during the whole development procedure. The concept is termed as software (S/W) development life cycle (SDLC) and involves various stages of (S/W) development. To successfully offer software development services, organizations should define a development methodology that suits the requirements of the project. Different projects may require different methodologies therefore software development service providers must evaluate the project requirements first and then formulate the strategy for the software development life cycle.

Most of the software development service providers have a pre-defined methodology that is implemented while developing a software. The process gets a little modified according to the project requirements but the essence of the project development procedure remains the same. The basic stages of software development are as mentioned below:

Requirements Specifications: The first and foremost step while developing software must be gathering the requirements of the project. The organizations must start with analyzing the feasibility and the requirements of the project. Some questions that must be clarified in this phase are:

What are client’s expectations of the project?

What would the user want in the software?

Is the project technically feasible or not?

The above questions, along with many more, must be answered and properly justified before software development service providers move any further.

Design: This stage involves development of an outlay for developing the project with all the little details included. The project requirements are evaluated and an implementation strategy for achieving these requirements in the form of a software is formulated. The designing phase is divided into two categories i.e. system design and component design. The system design is design of the software as a whole where questions like how the individual components will interact with each other are answered. The component design phase, as the name suggests, deals with the planning for each individual component.

Implementation: The components are actually created in the implementation phase. The design layout created in the previous phase is implemented and converted into a machine language that the computer can understand and respond to. Programming languages such as C, C++, C#, Asp.Net, PHP etc are used according to the project requirement to achieve the best possible results. The source code and database are created in the implementation phase. Accurate and effective designing of the software is essential for a successful implementation of the software.

Testing: The testing phase usually starts after the components are created but in some cases the software development service provider can start the testing along with the implementation phase. This methodology may require a little more effort and time but the end solution is void of any discrepancies or errors as they are detected and removed as soon as a component is developed.

Installation: The components of the software are combined together and the completed software is installed and executed on a computer system. If all the previous phases have been performed expertly then there will be no problem in the installation phase. A thorough testing is again recommended after installing the software to make sure that the end solution is working as desired.

Maintenance: It has been noticed that almost every software goes through changes and modification after it is completed. This may be due to some new requirements, overlooked features or the change in the business strategy. This requires constant evaluation and maintenance of the software.

Most of the software (S/W) development service providers follow the above described development methodology for creating softwares. It is the basic methodology of S/W development services. Once the software is completed and delivered successfully, the task of the service provider does not end. A professional S/W development company will offer maintenance services to insure a smooth and well functioning solution to their clients.

Technical Knowledge to Look For in Indian Software Development Companies

India is not only popular for its rich culture and heritage but also popular for its software development activities. It is a fact that India is a super power in the IT sector and other related services. Many of the countries from all over the world have relied upon India for their IT requirements, since India boast a global competence in the information technology sector. A software development company India has expertise on several different tools and technologies to come up with the perfect application or software solutions at a perfect time.

There are numerous Java, ASP Net programmers and several application or software developers in India working for several offshore product and software development companies, outsource software development companies and many other software companies that are situated in India such as New Delhi, Bangalore, Noida, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai.

In addition to Java software and applications, experts in India have proficiency in JTEE, ASP Net and Custom Application and software development.

Most of the software development companies in India have stamped their authority in several tools and technologies. Some of them are programming languages (Visual Basic, C#, VB.Net or C++), Frameworks/ architecture (JTEE or Microsoft.Net), web technologies (DHTML, HTML, AJAX or XML), databases (Oracle, MySQL or MS SQL Server), server languages (Servlets, ASP, JSP, C# or PHP), and several other testing tools.

Java and software developers in India have got profound expertise and experience on latest Java platforms and technologies for development of dynamic, flexible and scalable applications. Software companies in this country are capable of working on load balancing systems, enable several server platforms and optimize the processing of the databases for the complicated Java program architectures.

Another development in the technological factors in India is the J2EE application development. In India, developers are capable of both web-oriented and desktop Java applications and products employing open source J2EE frameworks such as Struts, spring, Hibernate, and lots more. They could also switch your existing application servers to J2EE or Java platforms such as WebSphere, Weblogic or Apache.

Small software companies and firms in India have also mastered the art of latest Microsoft languages such as.NET in order to help speed the development of web-based and desktop application software or programs.

ASP.Net programmers in India have made use of this server-side computer model in order to build several business solutions such as CRM (customer relationship management), SCM (supply chain management), strategic systems and online community tools. The Software Company in India performs activities related with the sustenance and construction of software. The most significant aspect of the software companies in the nation rests on the idea of IT. Services such as the consulting and software training, maintenance and many more also contribute to the IT Sector. Currently, Indian software development companies are on the path of rapid growth despite the global financial crises and the global technical epidemic.

Software Development Life Cycle – Understanding the Process and Choosing a Partner

If you’re about to embark on a software or web development project that you expect to take your business to the next level, you may be surprised to learn that the software development life cycle starts long before the project build actually occurs.

For software development companies, the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) technically begins once a customer has engaged the firm. The SDLC refers to the actual framework of tasks and milestones that will be created by the developer’s project team.

But for you, the software development process starts the day you decide that your business can benefit from an investment in technology to improve branding, streamline workflow or communications,or increase sales. At that point, you pick up the phone to contact reputable companies that can help you not only strategize, but also build your custom web, mobile or cloud computing solution.

Here are some tips for achieving the best possible project outcome via a better understanding of the software development life cycle from start to finish.

Official Phases of SDLC & The Software Development Process

Each phase of the Software Development Life Cycle has its own unique set of goals and milestones. It is critical that your chosen solutions provider has a proven SDLC process in place to ensure the delivery of predictable results. Though vendors may use slightly differing terminology to describe them, all should follow these five basic steps:

Discovery -Outline your objectives and business requirements; identify market opportunity and audience; develop a strategic plan; perform an internal resource and technology audit, and, finally, summarize the project scope of work.

Design -Outline overall project plan; design user experience; develop prototypes;perform usability focus groups; outline site content; develop test plans.

Construction -Build custom system; perform reviews throughout; execute internal QA testing;ramp up marketing efforts; develop a user acceptance test; develop launch plan;develop system training plan.

Launch -Execute a user acceptance test plan; system training; system documentation delivery.

Review -Review project success; identify new opportunities; maintain all applications;plan later phase initiatives.

The Free Consultation

Once you have an understanding of the life cycle of software development and what you will be hiring a vendor to do for you, it’s time to start the process of identifying potential solution providers.

If a company offers a free consultation, by all means take them up on it! You’d be surprised how many people don’t make use of this golden opportunity to steer the conversation away from a sales pitch and get some important questions answered. You can hear about their client successes and request client references in your RFP later on. Get right to inquiring about their technical approach and delivery methodology, and ask some specific technical questions to get an immediate sense if the company has the expertise and reliability you require.

A reputable software solutions provider that specializes in custom web development and software development should be highly qualified in several broad areas -ranging from strategic analysis, project management, and project documentation to testing and project maintenance -to help ensure up-to-date solutions and the ultimate success of your project.Having these characteristics gives a company thorough knowledge of the software development process and how it can be customized to best serve your needs.

Because of its potential complexity and the variety of technologies that may be involved, software development requires a highly systematic approach. Careful planning and a step-by-step process are the foundation for creating and implementing an effective and reliable software solution. Listen carefully for details on how the company addresses each phase of the software development life cycle to help you determine the thoroughness of each provider’s process.

Every conversation you have will also contribute to the formation of an increasingly exacting set of business requirements. Even if you are pretty certain what your business requirements might be, keep an open mind and listen to the pros. You may just pick up some ideas that will create long-term efficiencies for your business.

The Request for Proposal

After interviewing a handful of software solutions firms, you’ll find that you’re ready to take the next step with one or two. Now’s the time to provide as much information as you canto these potential solutions providers in what’s called a Request For Proposal (RFP).

RFPs generally include the specifics of your brand positioning, all your business requirements for functionality, the vision and objectives for the project, a proposed schedule, a request for client references, and specifics on the software development methodology.

Writing an RFP is a bit of an art form, but don’t be intimidated – when you supply as much information as you can and understand each phase of the software development life cycle, it will greatly improve the accuracy of the proposal or scope of work that you receive in return.

The Scope of Work

Solution providers on your RFP distribution list will generally reply with a detailed Scope of Work (SOW)and estimate for the project. For highly complex projects, it is not uncommon to receive a SOW and estimate for just the Discovery phase described above.

Many times, the Discovery phase must be conducted in order for the provider to better understand your business requirements and provide an accurate estimate for the entire project should you wish to move forward towards a complete software development project.

Expect to pay between $10,000-$30,000 for a detailed Discovery SOW and a clear Business Requirements Document. Note that if you contract with a custom software solutions provider for a Discovery SOW, you are under no obligation to hire them for the full project.

After an in-depth Discovery is completed, you will then receive a detailed SOW and estimate for the entire project. Of course, pricing will vary greatly for each individual project.

Getting the Most for Your Money Out of the Software Development Process

Since most software development projects require substantial investments of both time and hard dollars, it’s clearly to your benefit to choose a software development firm with significant experience in custom software development and solutions. In addition to their advanced technical knowledge, a more experienced firm can also help you strategize and make better project decisions – decisions that can move you closer to your long-term goals, while also simultaneously addressing multiple strategic marketing objectives.

Because application and website development is an evolution of technology, it is also important to employ a firm that stays on the cutting edge and adopts appropriate new technologies and platforms as they emerge.

With a clear understanding of the software development life cycle process -and how to use that knowledge to inform your choice of development partner -your chances of enjoying a successful project are very high.