Software Development Models
Any software development process is divided into several logical stages that allow a software development company to organize its work efficiently in order to build a software product of the required functionality within a specific time frame and budget. A professional software development team has an opportunity thorough planning and a well-thought organization of a software development process eliminate unnecessary risks or reduce them to the minimum.
A typical software development lifecycle comprises the following stages:
- Documentation of software development.
- Designing a software product.
- Implementing the software product.
- Testing the software solution.
- Deployment of the solution.
- Maintenance of the product.
Software development teams, taking into account its goals and the scale of a particular project, have a number of well-established software development models to choose from. Therefore, each software development company adopts the best-suited model, which facilitates the software development process and boosts the productivity of its team members.
The most common software development models applied for the development process are:
- Waterfall model. This model is mainly apt for small and relatively easy software projects. Software companies working according to this model complete each stage in consecutive order and review its results before proceeding to another stage, which renders the waterfall model inflexible and unsuitable for complex long-term software projects.
- Spiral model. The essence of this model is in the underscored importance of a risk-analysis during the development process. The spiral model presupposes that each stage of the classical waterfall model is divided into several iterations, and each iteration undergoes planning and risk analysis. As a result this model allows a software company to produce working software after each iterative stage, while evaluating the risks on an ongoing basis. However, adopting the spiral model may result in notably higher costs.
- V-shaped model. This model is similar to the waterfall model, though the main emphasis is placed on the verification stage and testing, which overlap all the other stages of the software development lifecycle. Tests are planed starting from the documentation stage, then throughout integration and coding and after the actual implementation of a software product testing itself is initiated. Therefore, the V-shape is formed due to the upward direction of testing, i.e. test execution.
- Iterative model. This model allows a software company to spot and mend problems at the earlier stages of the software development lifecycle, which makes the development process more flexible. This aim is achieved by breaking down the whole lifecycle into several iterations, thus handling the process in smaller portions. The iterative model allows creating the initial version of a software product straight after the first iteration.
- Agile development. This development model adopts the iterative model as a baseline, while putting an emphasis on the human factor, which is achieved by software team feedbacks throughout the ongoing development process.