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What is Software Development Life Cycle Phases (SDLC)?

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Want to know what is the lifecycle of software development? If so, stay here we are going to discuss different software development life cycle phases in this blog.


Software has become a go-to solution in this age. Whenever one has a problem, they would customize/upgrade their device to match the requirements. But that is not to say that developing it is an easy task. Thus, to reduce the time and cost, a practice was put into effect, software development phase.


What Is SDLC? Understand the Software Development Life Cycle


Software development life cycle (SDLC)  is the application of standard business practices to building software applications, referring to a methodology with clearly defined processes for creating high-quality software. The goal of the SDLC is to produce superior software that meets and exceeds all customer expectations and demands. 


It’s typically divided into seven steps: Planning, Define Requirements, Design & Prototyping, Development, Testing, Deployment, and Operation & Maintainance - simply outlining each task required to put together a software application. This helps to reduce waste and increase the efficiency of the development process, and also ensures the project stays on track and continues to be a feasible investment for the company. 


Many companies will subdivide these steps into smaller units. Planning might be broken into technology research, marketing research, and a cost-benefit analysis. Though other steps can merge with each other.


Also read: Salesforce Health Cloud: Explore Industry-Specific Solutions


7 Phases of Software Development Life Cycle


1. Planning


The planning phase is the fundamental part of SDLC, regardless of size, terms, costs, etc. In this phase, the project leader evaluates the terms of the project and cleaning defines the scope and purpose of the application, to make sure that the development process and results would be smooth and top-quality. They plot the course, calculate labor & material costs, create a timetable, as well as get feedback from stakeholders, before calling this phase done. This also keeps the project from expanding or shifting from its original purpose.


2. Define Requirements


The requirement phase is the most important phase of SDLC, as it is in this phase that project members began to understand what exactly the client envisioned the final product to be like. In this phase, the team gathers & analyses required materials and how they would go together.  During this period, the team and the client would meet multiple times to outline each requirement in detail. This also helps minimize costs and boost the efficiency of the quality softwares.


3. Design & Prototyping


The design phase is a stage where software developers and architects define the technical details and high-level design of the software system to be able to deliver each requirement. It seeks to develop detailed specifications that emphasize the physical solution to the users. They can include Screen Designs, databases, sketches, system interfaces, etc. Defining not just the programming language but also methods of solving problems and performing tasks in the project.

Software Prototyping refers to building software applications, like one of the early versions of the software. It demonstrates a basic idea of how the end project would look and work.


4. Development


The development phase is the most delicate stage of all. Before this was all plans, this is where the process of creating and building the project starts. The actual structured writing process enables the production of high-quality, low-cost software.  

The coding process would be included in this process, which compromises many other tasks that will be completed by a single person or a team, depending on the size of the project. If the project is large, the tasks will be divided between team members accordingly. 

The software development life cycle is frequently slowed down by tasks like generating code to execute an application or waiting for test results. It's crucial to identify and correct mistakes and malfunctions. SDLC would foresee such delays, allowing developers to be assigned alternative tasks.


5. Testing 


The testing phase is the stage where the moment of truth is revealed, whether the software is a success or failure, and whether it works as the client wants or not. Developers test the software multiple times before moving from this stage, as any mistake in this stage can redundant the project completely and devalue the company. Any mistakes or malfunctions are corrected in this stage.

Software testers usually break down software testing into four categories:

  • Unit Testing - Small components of the software are tested one by one

  • Integration Testing - Multiple testers combine different software modules at once to test the software

  • System Testing - Testing the whole software

  • User Acceptance Testing - Clients use components of the software to see whether the project met their requirements.


6. Deployment


The deployment phase is the stage where the software/project is released in the market are installed in the company, depending on the project. While it seems the easiest task, and it is if you like paperwork, to make sure the deployment process goes as smoothly as possible, it is divided into various steps for convenience. 

It is known as the application development life-cycle, where preparations, procedures, ownership transfer, as well as deployment of the project, are done. The tasks and activities are associated with specific deliverables depending on the nature of the project.

  • Preparations & Procedures - The team would install the software and do another few tests to ensure the success of the installation. It is important to monitor that everything works as intended.

  • Product Deployment - The project team implements the programming and coding to each system location. 

  • Transferring of Ownership - The team transfers the ownership of the software to the client/business, who is now responsible for maintaining the system functionality.  

  • Closing the Deployment Phase - After the process, the team would document the results, complete the project plan, update the completion dates and gather feedback.


7. Operation & Maintainance


The maintenance phase is the stage where the product is provided upgrades, repairs, fixes, etc. after it is in production. Monitoring the performance of the software is also included during the maintenance phase. As insurance, the development team set up a fixed time for new changes to ensure that even if there is a bug found after all the testing of the final product, the consumers would not lose interest in the product as “the product will be upgraded soon anyway”

In addition, models like Iterative development plan additional features in future releases. For each new release, a new Software Development Life Cycle can be launched.


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