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What is SDLC and it’s phases?

SDLC stands for “Software Development Life Cycle, which is a process that development teams use to create software. It is the process used as the framework for software development. It consists of a detailed plan describing how to develop, maintain, replace and alter or enhance specific software. Project Managers and Business organizations use the SDLC as a blue print for completing each step of life cycle for software development.

The following figure is a graphical representation of the various stages of a typical SDLC.

Stage 1: Planning and Requirement Analysis

The first phase of the SDLC is the project planning stage where the Business team will gather business requirements from the client or stakeholders. Gathering information of the project is the most important part of the SDLC. It includes who will use the product, how the customer will use the product and specific information includes with any special customer requirements. The Customer meets with Business Manager and Analyst to provide the requirements. It’s important for the Project team to understand the needs of the customers.

Planning for the quality assurance requirements and identification of the risks associated with the project is also done in the planning stage. The outcome of the technical feasibility study is to define the various technical approaches that can be followed to implement the project successfully with minimum risks.

Stage 2: Defining Requirements

Once the requirement analysis is done the next step is to clearly define and document the product requirements and get them approved from the customer or the market analysts. This is done through an SRS (Software Requirement Specification) document which consists of all the product requirements to be designed and developed during the project life cycle. It contained a detailed description of what the system will do in the common language. SRS document serve as a contract between the development team and customers.

It defines the overall software architecture together with high level and detailed design, also finalized Programming languages, Database or other Hardware and software requirements.

High level design includes Algorithm, Flow charts, Decision tree, Database design, etc.

Low level design includes Rough paper design, User interface components, etc.

Stage 3: Designing the Product Architecture

The Design Phase is a crucial element of Software Development Life Cycle, marking the transition from the conceptual understanding of requirements to exact implementation details. The key undertaking in the design phase of SDLC encompass User Interface (UI) design review, technical design formulation, and quality authentication.

The design phase involves various stakeholders, each with distinct roles:

Client: Provides industry-related data, reviews materials prepared by team and gives approval for project accomplishment.

UX Designer: Ensures that the product interface designs are user-centered and logical.

Project Manager: Heads the project and makes critical decision to a certain successful outcome.

Business Analyst: Molds product requirements for UX designers and assesses the design they generated.

Technical Architect: Decides on the Software’s architecture, technology stack and integration strategies with other systems.

Software Developer: Assists clients in translating their requirements into product features and create an original code for the product.

QA Specialist: Analyzes requirements and tests product design to ensure faultlessness.

Stage 4: Building or Developing the Product

In this phase of SDLC the actual development status and product is done. Developers have to follow the coding guidelines defined by their organization and programming tools like compilers, interpreters, debuggers etc. are used to generate the code. Different high-level programming languages such as like C/C++, Python, Java, etc. are used for coding. If the design is performed in the detailed and organized manner, code generation can be accomplished without much hassle.

Stage 5: Testing the Product

In this phase the Software Testers perform testing on the application. They use Manual or Automation testing on the product and check that the product meets the requirements of customer or not. This process continues until the software is stable, bug-free, and working according to the business requirements of that system. If it is not working based on Business needs or if they found any issue or bug then they need to inform the Development team so that they can fix it or if that bug is not affecting the actual functionality of the product then it can also be Deferred. The testing phase follows the development stage and involves rigorous evaluation of the software to identify and correct any defects. The Goal of this phase is to perform testing on the functional and non-functional requirements.

Testers perform following activities during this phase:

  • Test execution: The test cases and scripts created in the test design stage are run against the software application to identify any defects or issues.

  • Defect logging: Any defects or issues that are found during test execution are logged in a defect tracking system, along with details such as the severity, priority, and description of the issue.

  • Test data preparation: Test data is prepared and loaded into the system for test execution

  • Test environment setup: The necessary hardware, software, and network configurations are set up for test execution

  • Test execution: The test cases and scripts are run, and the results are collected and analyzed.

  • Test result analysis: The results of the test execution are analyzed to determine the software’s performance and identify any defects or issues.

  • Defect retesting: Any defects that are identified during test execution are retested to ensure that they have been fixed correctly.

  • Test Reporting: Test results are documented and reported to the relevant stakeholders.

Stage 6: Deployment in the Market and Maintenance

After detailed testing, the conclusive product is released in phases as per the organization’s strategy. Then it is tested in a real industrial environment. It is important to ensure its smooth performance. If it performs well, the organization sends out the product as a whole. After retrieving beneficial feedback, the company releases it as it is or with auxiliary improvements to make it further helpful for the customers. During Maintenance, technical team will fix software bugs or issues that are identified during usage of the software application in product environment. 

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