Exploring the different phases of application development
An application is basically a collection of programs which satisfy certain requirements. The process of developing an application begins with gathering the requirements and then designing the application, simultaneously with the code development and ends with the testing of the application
While designing an application, there are many ways to classify the data requirements which an application needs to operate on. The applications process and manipulate data and then present the results. A few types of requirements are; accessibility, availability, security, connectivity, portability, performance objectives, failure prevention and fault analysis, etc. Each application design has a separate case but may have many unique requirements, which may also be common to all the applications of the same system. Also it is because they have the same installation, which is connected to the external systems.
Designing starts with first analyzing the characteristics of the application. The best designs are those that start with the end result in mind. One must know what is to be down before starting the design. Once all the requirements have been analyzed and verified and the application design is produced, the process passes on to the coding requirements.
In this phase the programmers take into account the programming requirements and then start with the iterative process of revising, testing, coding, etc. A common misconception is that the coding part of an application development is the most important and time consuming part. Programmers also deal with quality factors and have to take care of the code in virtue of its readability and maintainability.
Testing is a very important aspect of any application development. Every program is tested through a series of tests run by formal users. This is done to ensure the usability and functionality from a user point of view. Testing is basically the validation and verification of the developed software. Also “testing” is not only ensuring the quality assurance of the code but also about the quality of the design, the GUI, etc.
Every application developed enters its final phase when the development team documents the internal design of the application for future enhancement and maintenance. Good application documentation allows the application in various level of abstraction, allowing the user to understand the functioning of the application and to assess the areas where implementation is required. Documentation may consist of two parts, user training and operational procedures. In the former the users familiarize with the new application and the later enables the operations to take over responsibility for the smooth running of the application.
In the production, all the changes and the enhancements are implemented and maintenance is performed. The testing process is rigorous before entering into the production phase.
The entire development process can be broken down to the following steps.
User, hardware and software requirements
Develop the design in its various iterations:
1) High-level design
2) Detailed design
Hand over the design to application programmers.
Code and test application.
Perform user tests
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