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.

Software Development Life Cycle – Introduction Model Stages and Advantages

What is the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)?

SDLC or Software Development Life Cycle is essentially the process or phases of a model or methodology, which software engineers and developers follow in developing an application or software. In simpler words, it is a process consisting of a series of planned activities for planning, creating, testing, deploying and maintenance of software.

SDLC is often referred as software development process, as it consists of all tasks, which needs to be followed while developing an application or software. SDLC is followed within IT development companies to develop, alter, replace or enhance the performance of the software. ISO/IEC 12207 is an international standard for SDLC, which ensures high quality of the newly developed software. It also helps IT development companies in improving the overall quality of their software development services.

What are the major SDLC Models, followed in the IT Industry?

There are various SDLS models, which are currently followed in the IT Industry. Often referred as ‘Software Development Process Models’, all the process models follow unique software development steps, ensuring 100% success of the development projects.

The major software development life cycle models are-

  • Waterfall Model
  • Iterative Model
  • Spiral Model
  • V-Model
  • Big Bang Model

Other related models are Rapid Application Development (RAD), Prototype and Agile Models.

The advantages of choosing an appropriate Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)-

  • Increased Product Quality
  • Increased Development Speed
  • Improved Client Relations
  • Improved Tracking & Control
  • Decreased Project Risks
  • Decreased Project Management Overhead

What are the different stages of SDLC?

Stage 1:

Planning and Requirement Analysis

This is the most important stage in the SDLC. This stage needs input from the customers, sales team, industry experts, a marketing team and their survey reports. After which, senior business managers and developers of a software development company plan the project approach and the development model.

Stage 2:

Designing

After the analysis of requirements and finalizing the Design Document Specification (DDS), the product architecture is designed by an expert team. This architecture has to stand upon various parameters such as budget, time, product robustness, risk assessment and design modularity, after which it is considered for the development.

Stage 3:

Development

The actual development of the software or application starts at this stage. The team of engineers and developers follow the coding guidelines set by the organization and use different tools for code generation. The programming code is generated as per the details documented in the DDS. The developers use different high level programming languages as per the requirement.

Stage 4:

Testing

In this stage, the final product goes through a pre-defined road of testing, where defects or bugs in the product are reported and then fixed by the developers. This stage ensures that the final product meets the highest quality standards, which are accepted worldwide.

Stage 5:

Deployment

At this stage, the final product is deployed at the client base. At times, the software is integrated with the client’s current application and database. All the deployment and integration works are done under the guidance of expert software engineers and developers.

Stage 6:

Maintenance & Support

Most of the reputed IT development companies also provide complete maintenance and technical support, post deployment of the final product at client base.

The Importance of Hiring a Custom Software Development Company

Advances in technology has made it easier for people to go about their day to day activities. Since computers, mobile phones and other gadgets have become a necessary part of peoples lives, it does not come as a surprise that the demand for applications for these devices has greatly increased. With the advent of smart phones, mobile applications have become an indispensable part of everyone’s lives. This is why custom software development companies have become highly in demand in recent years. nowadays, just about anyone can come up with ideas for software or applications and make it a reality.

Creating a computer software program or a mobile phone application can easily make you a lot of money. However, the problem lies in actually designing the software. If you are wondering how you can create a software or application to sell, then it is important to know that it really doesn’t have to be such a complicated process. If you hire a custom software development company to design your software for you, then you can earn a lot of money in the long run. While you may have to shell out a lot of money at the onset, if you design a good enough application that can compete, then you can get the money you invested back in no time. It doesn’t even end in getting the money you invested back, if you create a decent software, then you should have no trouble selling it to generate more profit.

The key to software development and application development is to come up with an idea for an application that is unique and useful. As a computer and mobile phone user yourself, you must know that it can be quite annoying to see the same applications time and time again under different names. While this certainly presents users with more options, it can also make the decision process a whole lot harder. With hundreds of thousands of software and applications out in the market right now, it can be rather difficult to come up with an idea that is completely original. This is why employing the services of a custom software development company that also specializes in custom application development is a good move. An experienced development team would be able to present a careful analysis of the market trends for these products. This would allow you to choose which categories are mostly in demand. If you are presented with a careful analysis of these facts then it should not be so difficult focusing your time and attention to a software that promises success.

Whether you want to sell these software or you want to use it for your own personal use or for you business, employing the services of a reliable and experienced custom software development company is important if you want the results to be desirable. A reputable company would present feasibility studies, especially if you have plans of marketing the software or application to the public. They should be able to present a comprehensive technical, economic and operational report of the app or software you plan to develop. Being aware of the strength and weaknesses of a product is necessary to ensure success. The feasibility report presented to you at the onset will give you a general idea of the predicted success rate of the application or software in question.

If you plan to develop an application for the iPhone, you should be able to find a custom software development company that will carefully guide you through the Apple App Stores approval process. You should also be able to market your software and applications easily with the help of a reliable development team. The development of software and applications does not only benefit those who want to develop these items for the purpose of making money. Businessmen who are always on the go can also benefit from this by having custom software and applications designed specifically for their needs.

A lot of businesses, companies and government institutions employ the services of a custom software development company to take care of their technical needs. Whether it is a theme for a website, a specific software to provide for particular needs or applications to cater to those who want to be able to keep track of their businesses and transactions even while they are away, a good development team should be able to provide all these without much difficulty.

If you are looking for a custom software development company; whether for application and software development, Internet marketing or web development, a good option would be Dot Com Infoway. They have teams of highly trained IT professionals that focus on particular projects for efficiency and for higher success rates. You will be carefully guided by a development team from the development process to the marketing process. There is perhaps no other custom software development company that would ensure that all your projects succeed both in development and marketing.

Choosing the Right Software Development Firm

Choosing the right software development company in India or Offshore Software Development India could be a real difficult task. With loads of software development companies India, it becomes quite difficult and confusing to right company for handling your project. However, there are several things that you have to consider before choosing the right software developers India or Java developers India.

Before hiring any of the software development company India or Java Developers India for Custom Application Development or Custom Software Development, it is very important for you to find out the actual requirements and then you have to do research about those requirements from the from the viewpoint of the main user or end user. It will be very useful for you to design a basic architecture or workflow since it enables you to approach the renowned and experienced software development companies with the particular set of needs. Some of the important things are mentioned below which you have to be checked with almost all the software company.

Listed below are a few numbers of things that must be checked with almost every Java developers India or software development services provider.

Basic knowledge: Things that are associated to the technology have to be perfect and clear for a company in order to be successful in the software sector. Therefore, you have to make sure to evaluate each company’s technical expertise and technological. The software experts working for the software firm should have the capability of choosing the ideal technology so as to develop appropriate software programs or applications.

Respect for deadlines: Time is one of the most important factors that you have to consider. Timely delivery is very important for you to launch the products and services of your company well in correct time and before your competitors. Therefore, make sure that the project which you have given to a software firm is capable enough of completing your company project within given time or not.

Market reputation: Reputation of the company in the software market would help you to know the quality of the products and services provided by it. Better the quality of service, higher the reputation of the company. Of course, you don’t want your company name to be tagged with some poor quality applications or software.

Various Software Services: Make sure that the company you select provides various services such as Outsource Software Development, Offshore Product development, ASP Net Programmers, J2EE Application Development, ASP Net Application Development and various other services in order to meet your requirements.

Appropriate Software Support: It is not just important that the company is providing quality software programs or completing your project on time and delivering it to you, it is very important to provide proper software support as well. Once the software firm is done with your company project, it becomes their responsibility to provide consumer with proper software support system. It is very important for the perfect implementation of the software programs. At the same time, do make sure that you understand the processes in case you are a first timer. Your partner should be able to help you, if he has the right experience.

Previous experiences: Ensure that you ask about every company about their previous customers and also make sure to show them some of the samples of the software development projects that they have done for their customers. This would help you to know about their weakness and capabilities.

Business Benefits of Custom Software Development

All businesses and organisations will typically need some form of software during their lifecycle. The types of software utilised by most companies range from applications that will enable better management of key organisational functions – Human Resources, Finances and Accounts, inventory and stock and even running projects, to more specific items of software that have a key purpose such as Content Management Software for use on company websites. Although these software applications can be purchased “off the shelf”, there are many business benefits that can be associated with choosing custom software development.

Custom Software Development is created for you

Developing custom software is a bespoke, made to measure process, which means that any applications and software programmes created as a result of the process will be entirely made for your company and its individual needs and requirements. Basically, a piece of custom made software is flexible and has the potential to fulfil your specifications meaning that it is easy to use and can be deployed throughout your entire organisation. Instead of having to make do with a ready made software programme or application, with customised software you can be sure that what you will receive will be entirely fit for purpose. There are also significant financial benefits that can be associated with custom made software despite it costing a little more to purchase than off the shelf packages. Software applications that have been made for you don’t require any licence fees, so you can distribute them across your entire organisation without needing to pay extra.

Custom Software Developers will work with your Company

When creating software designed for your company, custom software developers will design and code it to integrate properly within your organisation. The software won’t just help you achieve what you need it to achieve, it will be rich in features and tools that will make it usable by the people who will be operating it. With a piece of custom software all the requirements of your company will be considered, and developers will meet these both in the way that they develop the software and the after care that they provide properly. Although some training and support is available with off the shelf software to a certain extent, with custom made software your developers will continue to work with and support your company whether that’s through training staff members in the use of the software or providing maintenance and technical help to remedy any errors that might occur in the software.

Customised Software is Safe and Secure

The ready made software packages available to businesses and organisations today are certainly a lot more secure than the ones that have been developed in previous years, however they don’t compare to the security levels of customised software. Because customised software has been created for your company it will only be usable by individuals in your company. When you purchase custom software you will be given administrator rights to the software ensuring that you can change and alter user profiles and passwords to be in accordance with your own internal data protection policies. Customised software used on the web is also a lot harder to hack than standard, off the shelf software, and you can be sure that a reputable custom software developer will work hard to keep your application or programme and the data it contains as safe and secure as possible.

Customised Software is Adaptable

Ready made software is designed to be adaptable and flexible, meeting your company’s needs and requirements both now and in the future. Even if you need a few different software programmes to accomplish organisational tasks, a custom developer will be able to integrate the different processes that you need into a single, usable application. Custom software is also much more likely to be cross-platform suitable, so you can be sure that when your company goes mobile you have the software that will support it.