Software development

7 Phases of the System Development Life Cycle

The software development lifecycle (SDLC) is the cost-effective and time-efficient process that development teams use to design and build high-quality software. The goal of SDLC is to minimize project risks through forward planning so that software meets customer expectations during production and beyond. This methodology outlines a series of steps that divide the software development process into tasks you can assign, complete, and measure. There is a lot of literature on specific systems development life cycle (SDLC) methodologies, tools, and applications for successful system deployment. Books such as David Avison and Guy Fitzgerald’s Information Systems Development and Alan Daniels and Don Yeates’ Basic Systems Analysis, delve into the intricacies of information systems development lifecycles. This article will provide an in-depth analysis of the history, definition, phases, benefits, and disadvantages, along with solutions that support the system development life cycle.

The project’s specifications and intended results significantly influence which model to use. For example, the waterfall model works best for projects where your team has no or limited access to customers to provide constant feedback. However, the Agile model’s flexibility is preferred for complex projects with constantly changing requirements. The term software development lifecycle (SDLC) is frequently used in technology to refer to the entire process of technology innovation and support.

The stages of SDLC are as follows:

The Spiral model best fits large projects where the risk of issues arising is high. Changes are passed through the different SDLC phases again and again in a so-called definition of systems development life cycle “spiral” motion. The last but not least important stage of the SDLC process is the maintenance stage, where the software is already being used by end-users.

definition of systems development life cycle

Testing is critical to the system development life cycle to ensure compliance with functional, performance, and security requirements. Ideally, testing should happen at every stage of the SDLC to address issues early when they are fastest and most cost effective to fix. However, tests are often postponed until later stages, especially if they are not well integrated and create friction. Today, most teams recognize that security is an integral part of the software development lifecycle. You can address security in SDLC following DevSecOps practices and conducting security assessments during the entire SDLC process.

Systems development lifecycle

The project manager is the overall control agent for a strong SDLC process. Application lifecycle management (ALM) is the creation and maintenance of software applications until they are no longer required. It involves multiple processes, tools, and people working together to manage every lifecycle aspect, such as ideation, design and development, testing, production, support, and eventual redundancy. The abbreviation SDLC can sometimes refer to the systems development lifecycle, the process for planning and creating an IT system. The system typically consists of several hardware and software components that work together to perform complex functions. In traditional software development, security testing was a separate process from the software development lifecycle (SDLC).

  • In this step, you incorporate more specific data for your new system.
  • The development phase marks the end of the first stage of the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC).
  • All errors shall be tested after correction to ensure that they have been eliminated as part of the regression testing process and that no new ones have been introduced.
  • According to Robert Half, the drawback of this model is that the heavy emphasis on customer interaction can lead the project in the wrong direction in some cases.

An existing system is replaced by a new system that consists of replaced components or modules to ensure that it meets new requirements. SAD is mostly used to find a balance between requirements at a higher level. The seventh phases of the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is often ignored or missed. This phase consists of maintenance and performing regular necessary updates.

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Failure at this stage will almost certainly result in cost overruns at best and the total collapse of the project at worst. SDLC or the Software Development Life Cycle is a process that produces software with the highest quality and lowest cost in the shortest time possible. SDLC provides a well-structured flow of phases that help an organization to quickly produce high-quality software which is well-tested and ready for production use. If this is done in the production environment, this is usually done by a Quality Assurance professional. He or she will determine if the proposed design meets the company’s goals.

definition of systems development life cycle

However, there is little room for change once a phase is considered complete, as changes can affect the software’s delivery time, cost, and quality. Therefore, the model is most suitable for small software development projects, where tasks are easy to arrange and manage and requirements can be pre-defined accurately. SDLC methodologies fit within a flexibility spectrum ranging from agile to iterative to sequential. Finally, the planning process clearly defines the outline of system development. The project manager will set deadlines and time frames for each phase of the software development life cycle, ensuring the product is presented to the market in time. The system development life cycle or SDLC is a project management model used to outline, design, develop, test, and deploy an information system or software product.

Possible Drawbacks of SDLC

We strive for simplicity and accuracy with every definition we publish. If you have feedback about this definition or would like to suggest a new technical term, please contact us. This procedure where the care is taken for the developed product is known as maintenance. Once the requirement is understood, the SRS (Software Requirement Specification) document is created. The developers should thoroughly follow this document and also should be reviewed by the customer for future reference. Stackify’s APM tools are used by thousands of .NET, Java, PHP, Node.js, Python, & Ruby developers all over the world.

definition of systems development life cycle

The tools that this methodology prescribes should have built-in quality and project control measures, ensuring that a certain quality level is maintained. These properties enhance the management of time and specifications of the project. Without using an exact life cycle model, the development of a software product would not be in a systematic and disciplined manner. When a team is developing a software product, there must be a clear understanding among team representative about when and what to do. Suppose a software development issue is divided into various parts and the parts are assigned to the team members.

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SAD interacts with distributed enterprise architecture, enterprise I.T. Architecture, and business architecture, and relies heavily on concepts such as partitioning, interfaces, personae and roles, and deployment/operational modeling to arrive at a high-level system description. This high-level description is then broken down into the components and modules which can be analyzed, designed, and constructed separately and integrated to accomplish the business goal. SDLC and SAD are cornerstones of full life cycle product and system planning. As a leading provider of application security testing solutions, Veracode makes it easy for developers and security teams to integrate security throughout the SDLC. This makes it possible for developers to find and fix flaws at the most cost-efficient point in the development process and deliver more secure software, faster.

The prototype expert systems development commences with project approval. Phases 4 through 7 represent an iterative process whereby a prototypical ES is evolved, and the final prototype developed through these iterative phases is installed in an operating environment. The next section presents more detailed descriptions of each phase and discusses existing literature and findings in light of these phases.

System Development Life Cycle:

This is also the phase where essential components of the system (hardware, software) and structure are considered. The framework is structured in a methodical way, and is used to offer an outline for the development and adjustment of technical and non-technical components of a high-quality system. There was a growing need for building large company systems, but the consumers and users in those days were far less demanding.

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