A software methodology (which is also known as software process) is a set of related development Phases that leads to the production of the software.
Any software process must include the following four Phases:
In real life, they include many sub-Phases like architectural design, requirements validation,testing, …etc.
A software development model is a simplified representation of a software process. Each model represents a process from a specific perspective.
Some methodologies are sometimes known as software development life cycle (SDLC) methodologies, though this term could also be used more generally to refer to any methodology.
The waterfall model is a sequential technique in which each fundamental action of a process is represented as a separate phase, which is then arranged in a linear order.
In the waterfall model, all Phases must be planned and scheduled before beginning work on them (plan-driven process).
Plan-driven process is a process where all the Phases are planned first, and the progress is measured against the plan. While the agile process, planning is incremental and it’s easier to change the process to reflect requirement changes.
The phases of the waterfall model are: Requirements, Design, Implementation, Testing, and Maintenance.
In general, the waterfall model should be used only when needs are well understood and unlikely to change significantly during development, as this model has a somewhat inflexible structure that makes it difficult to adapt to change while the process is in progress.
Iterative Waterfall model:
In fact, it is not practical to perfectly adhere to the traditional waterfall paradigm when developing software. In this sense, we can see the iterative waterfall model as modifying the original waterfall model to make it appropriate to practical software development initiatives.
As seen in the Iterative waterfall model, feedback pathways are provided from each phase to its preceding phase.
The feedback channels allow for the rectification of errors committed during a phase as they are discovered in a later phase.
For example, if during a testing a design error is identified, then the feedback path allows the design to be reworked and the changes to be reflected in the design documents. However, observe that there is no feedback path to the feasibility stage. This means that the feasibility study errors cannot be corrected.
A prototype is a fast version of a system or element of a system created to test the customer's needs or the viability of specific design decisions.
A prototype is therefore useful when a customer or developer is unsure of the needs, algorithms, efficiency, business rules, reaction time, and so on.
A software prototype can be used:
A prototype can aid in the elicitation and validation of system requirements during the requirements engineering process.
It enables users to experiment with the system and, as a result, refine the requirements. They may come up with new requirements and identify areas of strength and weakness in the software.
In system design, a prototype can aid in the execution of design experiments to determine the viability of a proposed design.
A database architecture, for example, may be prototyped and tested to ensure that it allows efficient data access for the most common user queries.
The phases of a prototype are:
Prototyping is not a comprehensive development methodology in and of itself, but rather an approach to be utilized in conjunction with a full methodology (such as incremental, spiral, etc).
This model is costly. It has poor documentation because of continuously changing customer requirements. There may be too much variation in requirements. Customers sometimes demand the actual product to be delivered soon after seeing an early prototype.
Incremental development is built on the concept of creating an initial implementation, exposing it to user feedback, then modifying it via successive versions until an acceptable solution is created.
Each system increment represents a piece of functionality that the consumer requires. In general, the initial increments of the system should include the most vital or urgently required functionality.
This means that the client can inspect the system early in the development process to ensure that it meets the specifications.
One of the most prevalent ways is incremental development. This method can be plan-driven, agile, or both.
The system increments are identified in advance in a plan-driven method, while in an agile approach, only the early increments are identified, and the development of later increments is dependent on progress and client priorities.
But, it’s not problem-free …
The spiral model is risk-driven and depicts the process as a spiral rather than a series of operations.
It was created to incorporate the greatest characteristics of the waterfall and prototyping models, as well as to provide a new component: risk assessment.
Each loop in the spiral is split into four sectors:
The spiral model has had a significant impact on how people think about iteration in software processes and the introduction of the risk-driven approach to development. However, in practice, the model is rarely used.
Needs good planning and design. Needs a clear and complete definition of the whole system before it can be broken down and built incrementally. Total cost is higher than the waterfall.
Why is the spiral model also called a meta model ?
The Spiral model is called a Meta-Model because it subsumes all the other SDLC models. For example, a single loop spiral actually represents the Iterative Waterfall Model. The spiral model incorporates the stepwise approach of the Classical Waterfall Model.
Iterative development seeks to create a system by constructing small pieces of all characteristics across all components.
We create a product that fits the initial scope and rapidly release it for client feedback. To develop a market and get client input, an early version with restricted capabilities is required.
Each increment delivers a slice of system functionality, progressing from requirements to deployment.
The phases of iterative development are:
All the phases will be done once, while the construction phase will be incrementally visited for each increment; for each slice of system features.
Each phase of an iteration is rigid with no overlaps. Costly system architecture or design issues may arise because not all requirements are gathered up front for the entire lifecycle.
Agility is flexibility, it is a state of dynamic, adapted to the specific circumstances.
The agile method refers to a group of software development models based on the incremental and iterative approach, in which the increments are small and typically, new releases of the system are created and made available to customers every few weeks.
Customers are involved in the development process to propose adjustments to requirements. They use informal communications rather than formal meetings with written documents to reduce documentation.
They are ideally suited for applications with frequently changing needs during the development phase.
Scrum, Crystal, Agile Modeling (AM), Extreme Programming (XP), and more agile methodologies are available.
For most organizations, e-commerce, and personal systems, incremental software development outperforms waterfall development.
It is cheaper and easier to make modifications to the programme as it is being built if it is developed incrementally.
When compared to the waterfall methodology, incremental development has three significant advantages:
You might be wondering what the distinction is between incremental, iterative, and agile models.
In the incremental technique, each increment builds a whole feature of the software, whereas the iterative approach builds small sections of all features.
An agile strategy combines the incremental and iterative approaches by gradually adding features and enhancing their completeness by constructing a tiny amount of each feature one at a time.
Different development methods structure the four main process tasks of definition, development, validation, and evolution differently.
They are structured in sequence in the waterfall approach, but interleaved in incremental development. The manner in which these operations are carried out may vary depending on the type of software, the people involved in its development, and so on.
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