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Software Development Life Cycle

Software Development Life Cycle

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Published by: PS091982 on Oct 04, 2010
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 Activities Involved Software Development Life Cycle Model
Problem solving in software consists of these activities:
 1.
 
Understanding the problem
 
2. Deciding a plan for a solution3. Coding the planned solution4. Testing the actual programFor small problems these activities may not be done explicitly. The start end boundaries of these activitiesmay not be clearly defined, and not written record of the activities may be kept. However, for largesystems where the problem solving activity may last over a few years. And where many people areinvolved in development, performing these activities implicitly without proper documentation andrepresentation will clearly not work. For any software system of a non-trival nature, each of the four activities for problem solving listed above has to be done formally. For large systems, each activity can beextremely complex and methodologies and procedures are needed to perform it efficiently and correctly.Each of these activities is a major task for large software projects.Furthermore, each of the basic activities itself may be so large that it cannot be handled in single step andmust be broken into smaller steps. For example, design of a large software system is always broken intomultiple, distinct design phases, starting from a very high level design specifying only the components inthe system to a detailed design where the logic of the components is specified. The basic activities or phases to be performed for developing a software system are:1. Requirement Analysis / Determination of System's Requirements2. Design of system3. Development (coding) of software4. System TestingIn addition to the activities performed during software development, some activities are performed after the main development is complete. There is often an installation (also called implementation) phase,which is concerned with actually installing the system on the client's computer systems and then testing it.Then, there is software maintenance. Maintenance is an activity that commences after the software isdeveloped. Software needs to be maintained not because some of its components "wear out" and need tobe replaced, but because there are often some residual errors remaining in the system which must beremoved later as they are discovered. Furthermore, the software often must be upgraded and enhancedto include more "features" and provide more services. This also requires modification of the software,Therefore, maintenance in unavoidable for software systems.In most commercial software developments there are also some activities performed before therequirement analysis takes place. These can be combined into a feasibility analysis phase. In this phasethe feasibility of the project is analyzed, and a business proposal is put forth with a very general plan for the project and some cost estimates. For feasibility analysis, some understanding of the major requirements of the system is essential. Once the business proposal is accepted or the contract isawarded, the development activities begin starting with the requirements analysis phase.Following topics describes the above mentioned phases:1.Preliminary Investigation 2.Requirement Analysis / Determination of System's Requirements 3.Design of system 4.Development (coding) of software 5.System Testing 
 
6
.Software Maintenance 7.Error distribution with phases 
 
Preliminary Investigation
Fig 2.1 shows different stages in the system's life cycle. It initiates with a project request. First stage is thepreliminary analysis. The main aim of preliminary analysis is to identify the problem. First, need for thenew or the enhanced system is established. Only after the recognition of need, for the proposed system isdone then further analysis is possible.
 
Suppose in an office all leave-applications are processed manually. Now this company is recruiting manynew people every year. So the number of employee in the company has increased. So manualprocessing of leave application is becoming very difficult. So the management is considering the option of automating the leave processing system. If this is the case, then the system analyst would need toinvestigate the existing system, find the limitations present, and finally evaluate whether automating thesystem would help the organization.
 
Once the initial investigation is done and the need for new or improved system is established, all possiblealternate solutions are chalked out. All these systems are known as "candidate systems". All thecandidate systems are then weighed and the best alternative of all these is selected as the solutionsystem, which is termed as the "proposed system". The proposed system is evaluated for its feasibility.Feasibility for a system means whether it is practical and beneficial to build that system.Feasibility is evaluated from developer and customer's point of view. Developer sees whether they havethe required technology or manpower to build the new system. Is building the new system really going tobenefit the customer. Does the customer have the required money to build that type of a system? Allthese issues are covered in the feasibility study of the system. The feasibility of the system is evaluatedon the three main issues: technical, economical, and operational. Another issue in this regard is the legalfeasibility of the project.
 
 1.
Technical feasibility
: Can the development of the proposed system be done with currentequipment, existing software technology, and available personnel? Does it require newtechnology?2.
Economic feasibility
: Are there sufficient benefits in creating the system to make thecosts acceptable? An important outcome of the economic feasibility study is the cost benefitanalysis.3.
Legal feasibility
: It checks if there are any legal hassle in developing the system.4.
Operational feasibility
: Will the system be used if it is developed and implemented? Willthere be resistance from users that will undermine the possible application benefits?The result of the feasibility study is a formal document, a report detailing the nature and scope of theproposed solution. It consists of the following:
y
 
Statement of the problem
y
 
Details of findings
y
 
Findings and recommendations in concise form
Once the feasibility study is done then the project is approved or disapproved according to the results of the study. If the project seems feasible and desirable then the project is finally approved otherwise nofurther work is done on it.

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