Are you wondering what is SDLC? Well, the easiest answer would be “the process of planning, creating, testing, and deploying an information system”.

There are many additional phases, and it is important to understand each of them.

What are the stages of SDLC?

If we list the stages of the system development life cycle, you will get the following:

  1. Planning
  2. Analysis
  3. Design
  4. Development
  5. Testing
  6. Integration
  7. Implementation
  8. Maintenance.

Follow these, and then your product will be made properly. It is unlikely that anything will go wrong if you do everything in accordance with these stages.

Below, we shall provide a detailed insight into each phase.

1. Planning

The very first stage is planning. This is where everything begins.

During this phase, an issue is identified and the course of action is chosen. You could call it the foundation of the whole project because it determines the way it is going to be created and what it will solve. In other words, if you care about the result, you won’t be able to sit back.

2. Analysis

After the goals and plans are set, it is time to analyze the matter for more information.

What are the needs of this business? What are its specifics? How to place the end-user requirements?

All these and many other questions are answered during the analysis phase. Experts check whether it is possible to create a suitable product with the available plans and then estimate what else must be done to develop a quality product and get the highest results.

3. Design

The design phase does not only cover the way the solution will look like in the future. It is a difficult process that takes into account architecture, security levels, modules, interfaces, and many other layers to show how the final product will look like.

A lot of attention is paid to system design because it shows how all the planned features will look like. Also, this is a good way to check whether they still meet all the aspects of the project. Who knows, maybe something should still be changed?

4. Development

Once the design is approved, it is time to proceed to the development stage. Your coders will have to spend sleepless nights in order to write the code, fine-tune all the aspects of the software, and, basically, this is where the “skeleton” of the software is created.

The development phase is fairly considered to be the hardest of them all because it involves a lot of work. It is hard to give any estimates on how long it would take.

5. Testing

Once the “skeleton” has some meat on its bones, it is time to test it. The product might still be in the final stages of the development process, but even early testing is fine. It helps to find bugs and other errors that might have been hidden in the code.

Moreover, a quality assurance team will perform many other tests to make sure that the product is ready to be used. This involves bug tests, user experience, integration testing, and others.

6. Integration

Integration means bringing all the system’s components together to make it work as it is intended to. Testing is still performed in order to fix occurring errors. The “skeleton” turns into a whole body.

7. Implementation

When it is assured that the system is ready and there are no critical issues, the implementation begins. The system is put into its production environment, meaning that end-users can finally work with it.

Technically, this is the last phase where the development of the first version takes place. After that, you should provide updates and make sure the software is always functioning.

8. Maintenance

Finally, the final stage. All the previous levels have been passed and the most difficult part is now history. However, you still have to ensure that the system is always online and there are regular updates improving the user experience. It should always stay up-to-date to solve modern issues.

Methodology: how a system is developed

Although this was briefly mentioned at the beginning of the phase description, we would also like to share some of the most popular system development methodologies.

  • Waterfall

In a nutshell, this traditional option is made up of several stages. You can only move to the next one after the previous one is completed. The methodology has its own order of doing things: requirements, design, execution, testing, deployment.

  • Rapid App Development

We have already mentioned this methodology in our previous articles. This one is about creating prototypes ASAP, setting aside any design specifications.

  • Prototyping

Basically, this option involves the creation of multiple “skeletons” that visualize the final product to check whether it is good enough for the end-users.

  • Agile

One of the most dynamic methodologies, Agile, implies the fastest development of software. The product is built incrementally, meaning that the final result isn’t available at the very end, but can be accessed even earlier.

There are also many other methodologies that are worth a look at, but these will be covered in another article.

To sum up

We have covered the 8 phases of the system development cycle. Neither of these stages should be skipped in order to provide a high-quality product.

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Ivan Kolesnikov

About the author:

Ivan Kolesnikov

Experienced professional in programming.