Software development life cycle (SDLC) is an organized methodology that defines required activities in software development project. Its main aim to develop quality based software and ensures the quality of the software according to customer requirements. In this post, we will discuss on different models of software development life cycle with their advantages and disadvantages.
There are different steps to develop software or application, which are as follows:
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Models of Software Development Life Cycle
A software development life cycle model is a process that are being selected before software development. There are different models of software development life cycle, which are as follows:
Now, we will discuss each type of software development life cyclemodel with their advantages and disadvantages.
1. Waterfall Software Development Model
Waterfall model is the models of software development life cycle, where software development process is divided into different phases. The output of one phase works as input for the next phase. The development of next phase starts only when the previous phase is complete.
The Waterfall model is also known as the linear sequential model. There are six sequential phases in Waterfall model, which are as follows:
1. Requirement Analysis
Requirement analysis is the first phase of Waterfall model which define the system inputs, processes, outputs and interfaces.
Now, it is time to deliver the software to the customer.
Once the functional and nonfunctional testing is done and there has no error, the software is deployed in the customer hosting environment.
It will ensure that the software is up and running in the customer environment.
It is another important phase of Waterfall model. This phase will start when the software has been delivered, installed, and operational in the customer environment.
During this phase, if users find out any issues or need to adding new requirement or modify the requirements, then developer fix those issues and the updated source code is deployed in the hosting environment.
Developer also enhances the software with more features and released better versions to improve the software quality.
Advantages of Waterfall Model
The advantages of Waterfall models of software development life cycle are as follows –
It allows departmentalization and control
It is very simple and easy to understand
Easy to manage and use
It is suitable for small projects where requirements are easy to understood
Each phase has specific deliverable
Each phase is clearly well defined.
Easy to arrange tasks.
Process and results are well documented.
Disadvantages of Waterfall Model
The main disadvantage of waterfall development is that it is time consuming process and very difficult to go back in the previous stage.
However, the other disadvantages of the Waterfall model are as follows –
Its provide low flexibility
Difficult to measure progress within stages
Very difficult to estimate time and cost
It is very difficult to go back previous phase
Not suitable for long and ongoing projects.
Requirements changing is very difficult while developing.
Not a good quality model for complex and object-oriented application.
It is also not suitable for the projects where requirements are high risk of changing.
2. Iterative Software Development Model
The Iterative model is easiest models of software development life cycle. This Model is also called an incremental model which has designed to improve the existing waterfall model.
The model is almost same as the previous waterfall model except few changes are made to increase the effectiveness of the software development.
There are several phases of Iterative Model such as planning, design, implementation, testing, deployment, review and maintenance phase.
Once the initial requirement planning process is completed, the other phases are repeated to make new versions of the software for every cycle. The requirements are included, designed, coded, tested and added to the software on each iteration.
This is the first stage of the iterative model, where the system related information is gathered from customers and analyzed. Then, proper planning is done after collecting the requirements.
This design phase covers the technical design requirements such as programming language, database models, business logic and high-level technical details of the project.
The third and the most important phase of the iterative model is software implementation. In the implementation phase, the planning, specification, and design phases are transformed into source code which is called software.
Here, each module of the software is developed and checks whether the module is working correctly or not (Unit Testing).
After completion the implementing phase, the software starts for testing using different testing methods.
In this phase, each module of the software is tested for their interactions with other module. The system testing consists of different types of testing activities such as alpha testing, beta testing and acceptance testing.
This testing stage allows user to identify any potential bugs and make sure that the system meets the software requirements specification.
Once the testing is done and the software is deployed in the customer hosting environment.
When the software is deployed in the customer environment, review phase checked as per the current requirements. If there found any error or need to change any requirements then the process starts for next iteration.
Advantage of Iterative Model
The advantages of Iterative modelsof software development life cycle are as follows:
Software can be developed quickly
To change the software requirements is more cost effective.
It is more flexible to change the software scope and requirements.
Each iteration is easily managed.
Risks are identified on each iteration and resolved during next iteration.
It takes corrective action in a limited financial plan.
Results are obtained early and periodically.
Disadvantage of Iterative Model
The disadvantages of Iterative model are as follows:
It requires more resources.
Although changing the software requirements are cost effective, but it is not suitable for changing the requirements.
It also requires more management and high skilled resources for risk analysis.
The Iterative Model is ineffective for small project.
Finally, project ending date is not confirmed because of changing the requirements.
3. Spiral SDLC Model
Spiral model is another models of software development life cycle which is combination of iterative model and waterfall model.
The Spiral model is used for large projects. It is based on the risk driven process model where project’s success depends on the risk analysis phase.
Spiral model, generally consists of four different phases such as planning, risk analysis, engineering and evaluation.
These phases are followed repeatedly, in each round, until no further requirements are needed to be implemented in the final products.
This is the first phase of the spiral model, where the business and system related information is gathered from customers and analyzed. Then, proper planning is done after collecting the requirements.
The planning phase includes the estimating cost of the project, schedule and resources for the iteration.
2. Risk Analysis
In the spiral model, the Risk Analysis phase identifying, estimating and monitoring the technical feasibility, management risks and find out alternate solutions of the project.
If any risk is found during the risk analysis then necessary steps are taken to reduce the risks and alternate solutions are implemented.
However, a standard prototype is developed at the end of the risk analysis phase.
When the planning and risk analysis phase finalized then the engineering phase will start for developing the software. In the engineering phase, software is developed, tested and deployed in the customer environment.
This is the last phase of spiral model. In this phase, customers evaluate the output of the project and provide feedback also revert if any changes required.
The evaluation phase includes all the above phases such as planning, risk analysis and engineering, where customer goes through each phase for evaluating the software.
At last, the project continues to the next spiral or iteration.
Advantages of Spiral model
The advantages of using Spiral model are as follows:
This model is useful for large projects
It provides Flexibility to change the requirements
Software development is very fast
It provides strong approval and documentation.
The features are added in a systematic way.
The spiral model facilitates risk management
Disadvantages of Spiral model
The disadvantages of Spiral model are as follows:
It requires expert people to identify risk of the project.
Project completion date may not be known early
It is not suitable for smaller projects
The spiral model is costly to develop a project
It is more complex than other model
4. V-Shaped Model
V- Shaped Model is a modelofsoftware development life cycle which directly includes a set of verification and validation steps for every single phase in the development cycle.
It is an extension of the waterfall model and it is also known as Verification and Validation model. The process of V-model is in a sequential manner that means next phase starts only after completion of the previous phase.
Verification is the process of evaluation, where requirements specification and design meet for software development. There are several Verification phases in the V-Model, which are described as follows:
1. Requirement Analysis
Requirement analysis is the first Verification phases in the V-Model, where all possible business and system requirements are gathered.
This is very important phase of software development life cycle because most of the customers do not what exactly they desire.
In requirements analysis phase, acceptance tests are designed which to be implemented later during software testing phases.
2. System Design
In this phase, softwarerequirement specifications (SRS) are studied and prepared system design based on the requirements.
This system design phase covers the technical design requirements such as programming language, database and services.
During this phase, system tests are designed for later use of testing phases.
3. Architectural Design
The architectural design consists of modules (system design is broken down into modules), their functionalities, interfaces, database relationships, architecture diagrams and technology details.
The high-level design focuses on overall system architecture and design which provide overview of solution, platform, service, and process.
An Integration test plan is developed in this phase to test the ability of software.
4. Module Design
In the module design phase, the high level design is broken down into small modules and programs, where the internal design for each module is specified.
It is also referred to as Low-Level Design (LLD), which defines the business logic for each and every component of the system.
Module design is important because the design is compatible with the other modules and external systems.The unit test is designed during this phase to eliminate the faults and errors at early stage.
Coding Phase is the last and bottom of the V-Shape model. In this phase, modules design is converted into source code using any suitable programming language based on the coding guidelines and standards.
The coding is done by software developer or programmers.
Here, each module of the software is developed and testing is performed by the developers to check whether the module is working correctly or not.
Validation is the process of evaluation the software (after the completion of the development phase) in order to determine whether software meets the customer requirements.
The validation phases in a V-Model are as follows.
1. Unit Testing
In the V-shaped Model, the Unit Test Plans (UTPs) are designed during the module design phase. These UTPs are executed at code level and ensuring that all potential bugs or errors are removed at early stage.
2. Integration testing
The integration testing is developed during the architecture design phase. Here, the modules are integrated and ensure that all modules and architectural designs are correct.
In integration testing, system is tested by verifying the communication between all modules within the system after adding any new functions.
3. System Testing
System testing is associated with the system design phase of V-model. The System testing test the complete application such as functional and non-functional requirements, inter dependency, communication and performance testing of the application.
4. User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
The final testing phase of V-model is acceptance testing, which is designed at requirement analysis phase. The user acceptance testing is performed in a user environment.
It ensures that delivered system meets customer’s requirement and system is ready for deployment in customer environment.
Advantages of V-Shaped Model
The advantages of the V-Model are as follows −
The V-Model is simple and easy to use.
It is highly discipline model
The model is easy to manage
This model improves the reliability and quality of the software.
Each phase has specific output and a review system.
It is suitable for small projects where requirements are easily understood.
Disadvantages of V-Shaped Model
The disadvantages of the V-Model are as follows-
The model does not provide flexibility to changes the requirements
It is not a good quality model for complex and object-oriented projects.
It is very expensive to changes the requirements
5. Agile SDLC Model
Agile Model is the models of software development life cycle which is combination of the Iterative and incremental model.
The agile model focuses on the flexibility while developing a software. The main aim of the Agile Model is to complete the project very quickly and improve the quality of an application.
In this model, the application is broken into small incremental builds and the builds are given in iterations.
The time duration for each iteration is near about one to three weeks. Every iteration involves cross functional teams working through a full software development life cycle including:
Unit Testing and
User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
The product is displayed to the customers for their feedback after end of the iteration. Customer’s feedback is playing an important role in software development life cycle because their feedback will be helpful for next iterations.
The feedback will also ensure that the features meet their requirements. To minimize the risk of the application testing is done on every development iteration.
Advantages of Agile Model
The advantages of the agile model are as follows –
This model is realistic approach to software development.
It requires minimum resources
This model provides flexibility to developers.
Easy to manage
Customers can change their requirements at any stage.
Disadvantages of Agile Model
The disadvantages of the agile software development life cycle model are as follows –
It is not work for small projects.
It requires expert persons to take important decisions in the meeting
Cost is slightly more as compared to waterfall or interactive model.
If the project manager is not clear about the requirements then the project can go out off way.
Importance of Software Development Life Cycle Model
The models of software development life cycle are very important to develop a software or application.
The main importance of software development life cycle is that it provides full control of the software development procedure and also ensures that the developed software meets the customer’s requirements.
However, the others importance’s of SDLC are as follows:
The SDLC provides a standard framework to develop software.
It provides goals and deliverable of the software.
Customer requirements are find out at early stage.
To find out the bugs and errors in the software before implementation.
It ensures that the software will be timely delivery to the customer.
SDLC Model provides a guideline to develop a software.
It ensures the security of the software.
Best Models of Software Development Life Cycle
What are the best models of software development life cycle? Actually, it depends on the different factors of the project such as project requirements, size of the project, software developers, business environment, time and cost.
Already we have discussed different models of software development life cycle such as waterfall model, agile model, V-shaped model, Spiral Model.
Waterfall model is best for small projects, where the requirements of the software are fixed, easy to collect and the organization has experience of related projects.
An agile model is best for larger projects, where clients can change their requirements at any stage of the software development process even if the initial planning phase has been completed. This agile method allows more flexibility than traditional methods, it reduces the risks, saves the time and cost of the software development.
We have discussed different models of software development life cycle with their advantages and disadvantages and also mention the importance of software development life cycle.
Hope this article will be helpful, who want to develop software !!!