What are the SDLC phases?
SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) is a term used in software development to narrate a procedure for planning, designing, creating, testing, and deploying a software or application.
SDLC stands for software development life cycle. During that life cycle, there are six specific phases that dictate where the project is at during any specific point in time, and what comes next in terms of development. The various SDLC phases are requirement gathering and analysis, design, implementation or coding, testing, deployment and maintenance.
Understanding the Different SDLC Phases
Given there are six different software development life cycle phases, it’s important to understand what each phase entails and why it matters to the overall development of the software in question.
Requirement Gathering and Analysis
You cannot develop software if you don’t know why it’s being developed in the first place, or how it needs to work. This is the sort of information that is defined during the first of the SDLC phases. The client/customer ordering the software will need to provide as much information as possible about the uses, functionalities and features needed, who the software will be used by, and more.
The design phase consists of storyboarding or wire framing the software and needed functionality, and then creating either rough working models, or otherwise illustrating how the software will work, how it will look, how usage flows will move through from screen to screen, and more.
Implementation or Coding
During this stage, the software is actually built. The development team begins writing code for the entire project. Note that this can take place while some design work is still going on in some instances.
Testing is vital to ensure that all functionality required is present, that all features work properly, and to identify and remove bugs from the software or app being developed. There are usually at least two rounds of testing.
Once the software has been tested and any changes or fixes have been implemented, it is deployed. This means either being rolled out to the public, such as through an app store, or being delivered to the client for their use.
Maintenance is a necessary requirement for all apps and software. During maintenance steps, further fixes can be implemented, new features can be rolled out, functionalities can be refined, and more. There are many prime examples of maintenance drawn from real life. Just consider how Microsoft rolls out updates for Windows, or how Apple delivers updates for Mac OS.
The Role of the SDLC Phases
There can be some crossover or blurring of the lines in many of the SDLC phases, but the importance of each phase as a distinct element in the overall life cycle cannot be denied. Without a full analysis of the customer’s needs or the requirements for the software or app, necessary functionality and needed features, design and development cannot proceed.
Without accurate design work beforehand, the software cannot be developed. Without skilled developers on the project, development will be slow or fraught with problems. Without being able to accurately test software or an app, bugs could slip through that would compromise operability and stability. It’s all interconnected.