SDLC: How does the software development lifecycle work?

For successful development of quality software, it is necessary to set clear goals and specific steps of the software solution. The Software Development Life Cycle or (SDLC) can help you do just that. In this article, we will give you an overview of the software development cycle process, its methodology and benefits, and explain the difference between SDLC, STLC and SSDLC.

The term SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) refers to the process of defining goals and individual phases that lead to the creation of a software solution while ensuring flexible, functional, and reliable software that will satisfy the customer’s needs. This model can be seen as a pictorial and diagrammatic representation of the software development lifecycle, covering all steps and activities from inception to completion.

How the SDLC works and what phases of the software development lifecycle we distinguish

Before the development team embarks on creating a software solution, they define the most important tasks and arrange them in logical order. In this regard, the SDLC process provides significant benefits to developers by facilitating, streamlining, and organizing this process through its phases with specifically defined tasks.

The Software Development Life Cycle consists of seven phases, and it is essential to go through all the phases for complete customer satisfaction and to meet all their requirements and expectations. The SDLC describes both the entry and exit criteria for each phase that must be met before moving on to the next phase.

1. Precise planning is essential

The crucial phase of the software development lifecycle is planning, which to some extent permeates every step. First, it is necessary to identify frequent and major issues, as well as potential customer risks, in order to avoid them. Planning helps define the purpose, scope, expenses, and schedule of the project, including assembling the project team. Thanks to the precise definition of each aspect of the software development process, it also reduces the risk of errors during development.

2. Requirements Analysis

After setting project goals and scheduling, the next step is to analyze software requirements from the customer, which are then documented in the Software Requirement Specification document. This phase is crucial, especially for the development team. Based on the provided information, the development team prepares a plan of features that need to be included in the software to achieve the desired outcomes and fulfill all criteria.

3. Software design

In the third phase, developers work on the concept of the software and how it works. This phase of the SDLC includes the overall design, user interface, choice of platforms and programming languages, and security options. The result of the design is the first sample version of the software, where clients can see how the product will look and behave when used. This prototype can also be modified based on customer feedback before development, saving not only time, but also money and work for developers.

4. Software solution development

In terms of time, the longest phase is the software development phase, during which the development team focuses on coding. Whether you choose to program in Java or choose other programming languages, you must follow the client’s pre-approved specifications when creating the software to ensure that all expectations and product requirements are met.

5. Software testing

After planning, the second most important phase of the software development lifecycle is testing. Thanks to it, all errors, problems and shortcomings can be detected before the software is handed over to the customer and put on the market. Software testing therefore helps to minimize bugs in the software, which also has a positive impact on the overall user experience.

A young male programmer is writing on a whiteboard, while a blonde woman standing next to him watches.
The software development lifecycle consists of seven phases

6. Deployment

The final stage of development is deploying the software into operation and making it accessible to end users. Software solutions can be tested and evaluated not only by the development team and the client, but also by end users. Based on their initial user experience, they form opinions about the product as well as its producer or provider.

7. Regular maintenance

To ensure that the software solution remains current, functional, and error-free, it is necessary to regularly update and improve the software after it has been deployed. This ensures not only the expansion of its functionalities but also the prompt correction of errors and deficiencies discovered by users after its publication.

SDLC metodology

In the context of the software development life cycle (SDLC) methodology, let’s introduce several fundamental SDLC methodologies that can achieve fast and effective results in software development:

  • The Waterfall model represents the oldest structured SDLC methodology, which is based on progressing from one phase to another after its completion. Although this SDLC model is easy to understand, its disadvantage lies in its low flexibility.
  • The iterative model is based on repeated testing, evaluation, and redefinition of requirements. The result of each iteration is a new version of the software.
  • The Spiral model is among the most flexible SDLC methods and is based on the iterative model. In this model, the phases of planning, risk analysis, engineering, and evaluation are repeated until the product is completed.
  • Agile model involves continuous releasing of new software versions with small changes compared to the previous release. Thanks to the agile model, developers are able to detect and immediately address minor issues while also receiving feedback from the customer.
  • The DevOps model, a relatively new SDLC methodology, operates on the principle of collaboration between development and operations teams with the aim of speeding up the development and deployment process of software solutions and features.

Benefits of the SDLC software development lifecycle

Thanks to the Software Development Life Cycle, it is possible to systematically organize the work process and keep track of all defined tasks as well as set deadlines. The customer is thus always informed about the status of software development and any changes. SDLC helps the development team meet all customer requirements and expectations without exceeding the predetermined budget. Developers thus know what their goal is and how to achieve it. In a sense, it can be considered a guide for everyone involved in software development solutions.

SDLC vs. STLC – what is the difference between them?

While the SDLC defines all life phases of software development, the STLC or Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC) represents the software testing process and focuses on improving the quality of an existing product. Instead of a development team and code development, in the software testing lifecycle, the test team creates a test plan, prepares the test environment, and executes software testing to uncover potential bugs and flaws. We distinguish five phases of STLC, namely:

  • Requirement analysis
  • Planing
  • test development
  • preparation and setup of the test environment
  • execution and completion of the test

Comparison SDLC vs. SSDLC

Secure Software Development Lifecycle or SSDLC, unlike SDLC, focuses solely on security throughout all phases of the software development lifecycle. Alongside software development, SSDLC cleverly incorporates security requirements and best practices, securing the development environment, thereby helping protect the software without impeding the development process itself.

Come program in msg life!

So if you’re looking for an efficient and proven way to build quality software and ensure its smooth and systematic development, the SDLC model will be the right choice for you and your team. If you want to take your programming skills to a higher level than programming for beginners, we at msg life Slovakia have doors open for everyone. Both a junior Java developer and an experienced senior Java developer will find employment.

In return, you will receive an above-standard developer’s salary, the opportunity for career growth and interesting employee benefits. Join our development team and enjoy the benefits of being a developer. Take a look at our job offers, send us your CV and become part of a market leading IT company.

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