System Development Life Cycle or SDLC is a software development method or process. The System Development Life Cycle is used for developing complex systems.
Often complex projects are difficult to understand and composed of multiple components and subsystems. The software development process is organised into several logical steps to complete the project successfully.
There are diverse types of software development life cycle models defined, designed, and inculcated during software development processes. Each process model is unique in style and design; they are also in place to ensure the successful development of software. Among many, the following are the major and popular SDLC models being used in the industry:
- Waterfall Model
- Iterative Model
- Spiral Model
- V- Model
- Agile Model
Waterfall Model is a process for developing an entire system. It is an iterative process that involves breaking down the whole system into smaller tasks and designing the tasks so they can be completed in sequential order.
The waterfall model is the first of its kind. It is also known as the linear-sequential life cycle model. Its simplicity makes it one of the most used life cycle models. It is referred to as the linear-sequential life cycle model. It executes each phase of the programme line by line. The next phase in the development process can be executed only if the preceding one is successfully executed.
The strength of the waterfall model
The waterfall model has many advantages over every other cycle model, which include:
- It is simple and easy to use and understand
- Its process and result are well documented
- All its stages are clearly defined
- Phases are linearly sequential (phases have been completed one at a time).
The weakness of the waterfall model
There are also some weaknesses in the waterfall life cycle which are:
- There is a high amount of risk and uncertainty in using it
- The process within stages is difficult to measure and determine.
- It is not good enough for complex and object-oriented projects.
On the other hand, the iterative model enhances the evolution of the software version until the complete system and full version of the software is implemented and ready to be deployed.
Strength of iterative model
The iterative model is very efficient in:
- Producing results earlier and periodically
- Parallel development of plans
- Easy Testing and debugging during smaller iteration
Weaknesses of iterative model
- It requires highly skilled resources for risk analysis.
- It’s the phase processes; some system architecture issues may arise because all requirements are not gathered from the beginning of each phase execution.
The spiral model is widely used in the software industry due to its maturity and minimal risk involving customer and development firms and developers. It allows new product elements to be added when they become available or known.
Strength of the spiral model
- In the spiral model, changing requirements can be accommodated.
- Spiral allows for excessive use of prototypes.
- The spiral model help in a modular type of development, thereby helping in the successful management of risk.
Weakness of the spiral model
- The spiral model is very complex to manage
- The project end may not be known
- Spiral model processes are complex, and many intermediate stages are required for excessive documentation.
Has the name implies, V-model involves the execution of the phase process sequentially in a V-shape. V-model is an extension of the waterfall model and is based on an association testing phase for each corresponding development stage.
Strength of V-model
- The V – model is very easy to understand and apply and thereby easy to manage.
- It works effectively for smaller projects where project requirements are understood and unambiguous.
- It also involves a step-by-step execution of phases.
Weakness of V-model
- Like any other model, the v-model is also highly risky and very uncertain.
- Since it is simple and easy to use, it cannot be used for complex projects and object-oriented projects.
- Also, it is not suitable for projects where an element needs to be modified.
The agile software development method was developed as an alternative to the traditional approach. It is a method of software development that emphasises an iterative approach to designing and coding, with constant changes and adaptation. The SDLC agile model is based on a process that emphasises the importance of teamwork, collaboration, and communication to build a successful product.
The agile model is a software development and project management approach that emphasizes adaptive planning, continuous communication, and immediate feedback. The agile model is based on the principle that organizations should respond to change quickly and efficiently. This allows them to be more flexible and able to capitalize on opportunities as they arise.
In the traditional “waterfall” method, it is necessary to spend a long time planning and designing before coding begins. The waterfall method is followed by testing and verification, which can take as long as 18 months.
The agile approach was developed to make the entire process shorter, faster and more cost-effective. According to the agile model of SDLC, the whole process is broken down into small steps and should be finished in 3–8 months.
Strength of agile model
- The agile model is a very realistic approach to software development.
- It is suitable for both fixed and variable requirements.
- The agile model is straightforward to use and manage.
- It promotes teamwork and cross-training for developers.
Weaknesses of the agile model
- The agile model is not suitable for complex development owing to its simplicity.
- Agile depends heavily on customer interaction, so the customer’s mistake can affect the effective working of the model.
Current Trends in the Life Cycle Modelling
Agile is the most popular and trending model being used in the industry. Agile introduces the concept of fast and reliable delivery to customers using a prototype approach. Agile is more popular in the industry today because of its many unique features, which allow customers to interact with the backbone of agile methodology and open communication with minimum documentation.
Agile methodology or system development life cycle models emphasizes rapid and flexible adaptation to change. It fosters collaboration among team members through short, frequent feedback cycles and allows for quick experimentation with new ideas. The goal is to deliver software products that are both reliable and on time.