Crucial Stages of Application Software Development

Any software is created by several methodologies and programming codes put together. Application software gives life to the machines. But while making use of electrical equipment, we never think much about its internal working process. The software available these days are of two major types.

1. System software: The system software has been designed in a way in which it offers a common interface between the person who is using it and the hardware of the system.

2. Application Software: The application software is programmed in such a way that it is capable enough to assist the person in multi tasking. It assists in bringing solution to different problems, helps to customize ‘n’ number of graphics, texts as well as numbers.

Various types of application software are available in the market including entertainment software, infrastructure software, content management software and many more. There are specifically defined stages for the development of application software. The process of it is mentioned below.

  • Defining the requirement: During this stage, the authorities of the company define the requirements of the client and plan out the design so that the product can be made accordingly. During this stage the budget and the deadlines of the project are also decided.
  • Designing: The designing part is the heart and soul of any software. This is because the smooth working of the software depends on the quality of the design. The software is usually created and developed by the software developers based on the plan which is accepted by the client as well as the organization. There are times when the company hired for the software development fails to integrate the features that have been asked for. In these cases they have to invest in debugging.
  • Testing the software: Testing is important to ensure that the system works smoothly and the programs developed are capable and efficient of working in any situation. During the testing process, the testers manipulate the programs to check if there are any loopholes.
  • Putting the software into practice: When the application software development is done and it is void of any flaws, it is put into practice by the client. Even during this stage, if there are any errors in the system, they can be checked and corrected.
  • Servicing: The firm providing application and software development should also be ready to provide regular servicing and maintenance to the clients whenever necessary. Customer support should also be provided by the hired firm so that the client queries and doubts can be cleared.

Software Development Life Cycle and Testing

These five phases constitute the life cycle of a software project called the software development life cycle (SDLC).

The Five Phases of the SDLC:
1. CONCEPTION
2. INITIATION
3. ANALYSIS
4. DESIGN
5. CONSTRUCTION

Phase 1 – CONCEPTION: This phase starts as soon as someone, either a user or a member of the data processing department, recognizes a problem or opportunity that suggests a data processing solution.
The objective of this phase is to answer the following questions:

– What is the perceived problem (or opportunity)?
– What are the goals to be achieved by the solution?
– What benefits will result from achieving the solution?
– What will be the scope of the project?

These details may be recorded in an informal note or in a formal document. This document is called Project Request Form.

Phase2 – INITIATION: In this phase the analyst, working with the user, does a preliminary study of the user’s need. The information developed during this phase permits the organization to decide if it is worth spending money on the project.

The key information to be recorded consists of the following:

– Proposed system solution
– Alternative solutions considered
– Economic justification (Cost Benefit Analysis)
– Schedule of time and cost estimates for the completion of the project

This document is referred to as System Proposal.

Phase 3 – ANALYSIS: During this phase, the analyst and user come to a detailed agreement on the functions that the proposed system has to perform. A detailed document is prepared containing:

– Outputs to be produced
– Inputs that must be received
– Data to be retained
– Procedure to get the outputs from the given inputs
– Audit and control requirements: This specifies the features that are required to ensure that the user can monitor the system to check that it is working properly.

– System Acceptance Criteria: This lists the tests that the user would actually perform to check conformity with the previously agreed performance requirement and other specifications, before accepting the system.

This document is called Function Specifications. In addition to creating Function Specifications, the Cost Benefit Analysis prepared during the Initiation phase should be reviewed for accuracy. Similarly, the cost and time estimate should also be reviewed/revised.

Phase 4 – DESIGN: At this point, the emphasis changes from defining the user’s requirement to defining how the system will work. The documentation developed is technical. The design documentation should specify:

– Exactly how each input, output, operation, file and audit control requirement will be handled
– Acceptance test plan/schedule
– Facilities, equipment and personal required
– Manual procedure required to operate the system

This document is referred to as Design Specification. At this point again, the Cost Benefit Analysis and cost/time estimates are reviewed /revised.

Phase 5 – CONSTRUCTION: The last phase in the system development procedure includes three activities:

– Completing and testing computer programs and operating instructions for using the package (Run Manual, User Manual).
– Performing all tasks to carry out the conversion from the system currently in use to the new system.
– Conducting the final testing of the system to determine if it performs according to the acceptance criteria established during the Analysis phase.

Another essential activity for any system is the system evaluation. During system evaluation the performance of the system in a real life environment is assessed.

This is not considered a phase as:

– It may be several months before it is possible to take the first measurement of system effectiveness.
By this time the project development team might have been disbanded or moved to other projects.
– It is an ongoing activity. In fact, it should be regarded as a project in itself.
– The results of the system evaluation might indicate that the system has to be modified /re-developed.

Testing:
Software Testing is the course of completing a program or system with the intention of finding errors. Or, it involves any activity aimed at appraising an attribute or capability of a program or system and determining that it meets its required results.

The testing process:
1. Create test plans.
The test plan documentation consists of two documents:
• Detailed test plan (DTP) document
• Detailed test case (DTC) document
2. Review the design.
The design review also helps in identifying the scenarios that must be tested for one or more of the following:
• Possible security attacks
• Performance optimizations
• Profiling to ensure that there are no memory leaks
3. Perform black box testing.
Black box testing includes the following:
• Testing all of the external interfaces for all possible usage scenario
• Ensuring that the interfaces meet the functional specifications and address all of the requirements testing for various types of input.
• Testing for various types of input.
• Performance testing
• Load testing.
• Stress testing
• Security testing

Computer Software Developers – Get the Right Software For Your Business

When you want some software developed for your business what is the first thing you do? Of course look around you for the best developers who can do the job for you. But I would say that is not what you should be doing, instead there is a much easier way to go about it which will save you lot of time and get your business up and running much earlier than you expected.

The technology behind software has developed so much that gone are the days you will have to find programmers or software specialist with whom you will have to sit around for month s day in and out charting and chalking out features to develop software instilling your plans and ideas into it. Now everything you require for your business comes in a platter without dropping a sweat. Well you may have ideas which no software developers or companies have thought of, I do not want to offend you, what I am getting at is that there are software solution for ninety percent of businesses that are being run today.

So when you are looking for computer software developers first ascertain whether you can get a system already developed just to install and run your business. If you have a good business mind but are not that computer savvy or up to date with developments in the field you need not necessarily know of all those new and new daily happenings in the software industry. You may even get taken for a ride by those who may sense this weak point of yours. They may just be selling you an already well developed system under the guise that they have personally developed the particular software system for your unique need and charge you a huge fee.

Fist thing you may do if you want help from computer software developers is to do a simple search on Google for all software systems that are available to your particular brand of business, get some in depth knowledge on what they can do to your business and then look for software developers that can provide you software systems that are customizable to your particular needs and ideas. Most developers can help you find the exact system you want with any special or particular features embedded or customized into the software as requested by you.

Selecting the software developers are not so easy these days because you find any number of them vying for your attention flouting the best quality system that money can buy. So selecting the best computer software developers is going to be a more of a dilemma than getting you the exact software for your needs. The best way to go about it would be to ask around and choose the ones your friends recommend or those who have enough experience in the field with proven results. I for one can recommend the developers stated below they are very affordable too but it is for you to make the final choice. Good luck.