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Software Development Methodology

A software development methodology or system development methodology in software engineering is a framework that is used to structure, plan, and control the process of developing an information system.


The software development methodology (also known as SDM) framework didn't emerge until the 1960s. According to Elliott (2004) the systems development life cycle (SDLC) can be considered to be the oldest formalized methodology framework for building information systems. The main idea of the SDLC has been "to pursue the development of information systems in a very deliberate, structured and methodical way, requiring each stage of the life cycle from inception of the idea to delivery of the final system, to be carried out rigidly and sequentially" within the context of the framework being applied. The main target of this methodology framework in the 1960s was "to develop large scale functional business systems in an age of large scale business conglomerates. Information systems activities revolved around heavy data processing and number crunching routines".


The three basic approaches applied to software development methodology frameworks.
A wide variety of such frameworks have evolved over the years, each with its own recognized strengths and weaknesses. One software development methodology framework is not necessarily suitable for use by all projects. Each of the available methodology frameworks are best suited to specific kinds of projects, based on various technical, organizational, project and team considerations.


These software development frameworks are often bound to some kind of organization, which further develops, supports the use, and promotes the methodology framework. The methodology framework is often defined in some kind of formal documentation.


Waterfall Development :
Waterfall Development

The Waterfall model is a sequential development approach, in which development is seen as flowing steadily downwards (like a waterfall) through the phases of requirements analysis, design, implementation, testing (validation), integration, and maintenance. The first formal description of the method is often cited as an article published by Winston W. Royce in 1970 although Royce did not use the term "waterfall" in this article.

The basic principles are:

Project is divided into sequential phases, with some overlap and splashback acceptable between phases. Emphasis is on planning, time schedules, target dates, budgets and implementation of an entire system at one time.

Tight control is maintained over the life of the project via extensive written documentation, formal reviews, and approval/signoff by the user and information technology management occurring at the end of most phases before beginning the next phase.

The Waterfall model is a traditional engineering approach applied to software engineering. It has been widely blamed for several large-scale government projects running over budget, over time and sometimes failing to deliver on requirements due to the Big Design Up Front approach. Except when contractually required, the Waterfall model has been largely superseded by more flexible and versatile methodologies developed specifically for software development. See Criticism of Waterfall model.



Prototyping :
Prototyping

Software prototyping, is the development approach of activities during software development, the creation of prototypes, i.e., incomplete versions of the software program being developed.

The basic principles are:
Not a standalone, complete development methodology, but rather an approach to handle selected parts of a larger, more traditional development methodology (i.e. incremental, spiral, or rapid application development (RAD)).
Attempts to reduce inherent project risk by breaking a project into smaller segments and providing more ease-of-change during the development process.

User is involved throughout the development process, which increases the likelihood of user acceptance of the final implementation. Small-scale mock-ups of the system are developed following an iterative modification process until the prototype evolves to meet the users’ requirements.

While most prototypes are developed with the expectation that they will be discarded, it is possible in some cases to evolve from prototype to working system.

A basic understanding of the fundamental business problem is necessary to avoid solving the wrong problem.



Incremental Development :
Incremental development

Various methods are acceptable for combining linear and iterative systems development methodologies, with the primary objective of each being to reduce inherent project risk by breaking a project into smaller segments and providing more ease-of-change during the development process.

The basic principles are :
A series of mini-Waterfalls are performed, where all phases of the Waterfall are completed for a small part of a system, before proceeding to the next increment, or

Overall requirements are defined before proceeding to evolutionary, mini-Waterfall development of individual increments of a system, or

The initial software concept, requirements analysis, and design of architecture and system core are defined via Waterfall, followed by iterative Prototyping, which culminates in installing the final prototype, a working system.

The Spiral Model :
The Spiral Model

The spiral model is a software development process combining elements of both design and prototyping-in-stages, in an effort to combine advantages of top-down and bottom-up concepts. It is a meta-model, a model that can be used by other models. The basic principles are:

Focus is on risk assessment and on minimizing project risk by breaking a project into smaller segments and providing more ease-of-change during the development process, as well as providing the opportunity to evaluate risks and weigh consideration of project continuation throughout the life cycle.

"Each cycle involves a progression through the same sequence of steps, for each part of the product and for each of its levels of elaboration, from an overall concept-of-operation document down to the coding of each individual program."

Each trip around the spiral traverses four basic quadrants:

    • (1) determine objectives, alternatives, and constraints of the iteration.
    • (2) evaluate alternatives; Identify and resolve risks.
    • (3) develop and verify deliverables from the iteration and
    • (4) plan the next iteration. Begin each cycle with an identification of stakeholders and their win conditions, and end each cycle with review and commitment.


  • Rapid application development :
    Rapid application development

    Rapid application development (RAD) is a software development methodology, which involves iterative development and the construction of prototypes. Rapid application development is a term originally used to describe a software development process introduced by James Martin in 1991.

    The basic principles are:

    Key objective is for fast development and delivery of a high quality system at a relatively low investment cost. Attempts to reduce inherent project risk by breaking a project into smaller segments and providing more ease-of-change during the development process.

    Aims to produce high quality systems quickly, primarily via iterative Prototyping (at any stage of development), active user involvement, and computerized development tools. These tools may include Graphical User Interface (GUI) builders, Computer Aided Software Engineering (CASE) tools, Database Management Systems (DBMS), fourth-generation programming languages, code generators, and object-oriented techniques.

    Key emphasis is on fulfilling the business need, while technological or engineering excellence is of lesser importance.
    Project control involves prioritizing development and defining delivery deadlines or “timeboxes”. If the project starts to slip, emphasis is on reducing requirements to fit the timebox, not in increasing the deadline.

    Generally includes joint application design (JAD), where users are intensely involved in system design, via consensus building in either structured workshops, or electronically facilitated interaction.

    • Active user involvement is imperative.
    • Iteratively produces production software, as opposed to a throwaway prototype.
    • Produces documentation necessary to facilitate future development and maintenance.
    • Standard systems analysis and design methods can be fitted into this framework.



  • Other methodology practices include :
    Other methodology practices include:

    Object-oriented development methodologies, such as Grady Booch's object-oriented design (OOD), also known as object-oriented analysis and design (OOAD). The Booch model includes six diagrams: class, object, state transition, interaction, module, and process.

    Top-down programming: evolved in the 1970s by IBM researcher Harlan Mills (and Niklaus Wirth) in developed structured programming.
    Unified Process (UP) is an iterative software development methodology framework, based on Unified Modeling Language (UML). UP organizes the development of software into four phases, each consisting of one or more executable iterations of the software at that stage of development: inception, elaboration, construction, and guidelines. Many tools and products exist to facilitate UP implementation. One of the more popular versions of UP is the Rational Unified Process (RUP).

    Agile software development refers to a group of software development methodologies based on iterative development, where requirements and solutions evolve via collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams. The term was coined in the year 2001 when the Agile Manifesto was formulated.

    Programming paradigm :
    Programming paradigm

    A programming paradigm is a fundamental style of computer programming, in contrast to a software engineering methodology, which is a style of solving specific software engineering problems. Paradigms differ in the concepts and abstractions used to represent the elements of a program (such as objects, functions, variables, constraints...) and the steps that comprise a computation (assignations, evaluation, continuations, data flows...).

    A programming language can support multiple paradigms. For example programs written in C++ or Object Pascal can be purely procedural, or purely object-oriented, or contain elements of both paradigms. Software designers and programmers decide how to use those paradigm elements. In object-oriented programming, programmers can think of a program as a collection of interacting objects, while in functional programming a program can be thought of as a sequence of stateless function evaluations. When programming computers or systems with many processors, process-oriented programming allows programmers to think about applications as sets of concurrent processes acting upon logically shared data structures.

    Just as different groups in software engineering advocate different methodologies, different programming languages advocate different programming paradigms. Some languages are designed to support one paradigm (Smalltalk supports object-oriented programming, Haskell supports functional programming), while other programming languages support multiple paradigms (such as Object Pascal, C++, C#, Visual Basic, Common Lisp, Scheme, Python, Ruby, and Oz).

    Many programming paradigms are as well known for what methods they forbid as for what they enable. For instance, pure functional programming forbids using side-effects; structured programming forbids using goto statements. Partly for this reason, new paradigms are often regarded as doctrinaire or overly rigid by those accustomed to earlier styles. Avoiding certain methods can make it easier to prove theorems about a program's correctness, or simply to understand its behavior.





    Intelligent Quotes

    A solid working knowledge of productivity software and other IT tools has become a basic foundation for success in virtually any career. Beyond that, however, I don't think you can overemphasise the importance of having a good background in maths and science.....
    "Every software system needs to have a simple yet powerful organizational philosophy (think of it as the software equivalent of a sound bite that describes the system's architecture)... A step in thr development process is to articulate this architectural framework, so that we might have a stable foundation upon which to evolve the system's function points. "
    "All architecture is design but not all design is architecture. Architecture represents the significant design decisions that shape a system, where significant is measured by cost of change"
    "The ultimate measurement is effectiveness, not efficiency "
    "It is argued that software architecture is an effective tool to cut development cost and time and to increase the quality of a system. "Architecture-centric methods and agile approaches." Agile Processes in Software Engineering and Extreme Programming.
    "Java is C++ without the guns, knives, and clubs "
    "When done well, software is invisible"
    "Our words are built on the objects of our experience. They have acquired their effectiveness by adapting themselves to the occurrences of our everyday world."
    "I always knew that one day Smalltalk would replace Java. I just didn't know it would be called Ruby. "
    "The best way to predict the future is to invent it."
    "In 30 years Lisp will likely be ahead of C++/Java (but behind something else)"
    "Possibly the only real object-oriented system in working order. (About Internet)"
    "Simple things should be simple, complex things should be possible. "
    "Software engineering is the establishment and use of sound engineering principles in order to obtain economically software that is reliable and works efficiently on real machines."
    "Model Driven Architecture is a style of enterprise application development and integration, based on using automated tools to build system independent models and transform them into efficient implementations. "
    "The Internet was done so well that most people think of it as a natural resource like the Pacific Ocean, rather than something that was man-made. When was the last time a technology with a scale like that was so error-free? The Web, in comparison, is a joke. The Web was done by amateurs. "
    "Software Engineering Economics is an invaluable guide to determining software costs, applying the fundamental concepts of microeconomics to software engineering, and utilizing economic analysis in software engineering decision making. "
    "Ultimately, discovery and invention are both problems of classification, and classification is fundamentally a problem of finding sameness. When we classify, we seek to group things that have a common structure or exhibit a common behavior. "
    "Perhaps the greatest strength of an object-oriented approach to development is that it offers a mechanism that captures a model of the real world. "
    "The entire history of software engineering is that of the rise in levels of abstraction. "
    "The amateur software engineer is always in search of magic, some sensational method or tool whose application promises to render software development trivial. It is the mark of the professional software engineer to know that no such panacea exist "


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