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DevSecOps

What Is a Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC)?

What Is a Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC)?

Introduction 

Because it encompasses pivotal stages that can be categorized into organizing, execution, and preservation of the system solution, the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) has become the de facto procedure for constructing data systems, computer programming, and systems engineering.

Due to its systematized conditions that maintain a delicate equilibrium between time, money, and quality in order to satisfy the needs of the latest businesses despite their urgency, intricacy, and limited measures the SDLC has become an indispensable tool.

Learning Objectives

What is a Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC)?

The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) meaning is a method for creating high-quality, low-cost software in a short amount of time. With the support of SDLC, a business can swiftly create high-quality, thoroughly tested, and production-ready software.

Where is SDLC Used?

From the primary viability research to the ongoing sustentation of the established operating system, the SLDC is a theoretical blueprint utilized in process-based administration that defines the procedures entangled in the blossoming of a data system. Whether a system is technical or not, it can gain from the SDLC procedure. A system is basically some sort of information technology like apparatus or freeware. Executives of projects and programs often take part in SDLC, alongside system and system programmers, architect coders, and even prospective users.

The designing of any system, whether hardware or software, can be seen as a repetitive exercise with numerous stages. The SDLC supplies a strict composition and fabrication for defining the stages and steps of a system's evolution.

System Development Life Cycle Phases

The standard SDLC lifecycle was split into five distinct stages. This has recently been increased to seven SDLC methodologies or phases. Developers can now describe clearer and more effective actions to achieve specific goals via these newly added phases. All seven stages are explained in detail below.

  1. Planning

In the first stage, the team decides if a new system is necessary to achieve the strategic goals of the company. This is an early-stage plan or feasibility analysis for the company to acquire the resources needed to enhance an existing service or construct new infrastructure.

The goal of this stage is to define the full extent of the issue and generate potential answers. Costs, benefits, time, money, and so on are all relevant factors to think about. To ensure the overall success of the project, this is the most important stage. It's important to do your homework before going on to the next step.

  1. Analysis

In the second SDLC phase, teams work on the problem or change. Possible solutions are offered and examined to find the best fit for the project's end aim or goals. It's where teams consider solution requirements.

Systems analysis helps businesses determine their needs. It also shows how those needs can be satisfied, who is responsible for what, and the projected timescale.

  1. Design

Phase 3 defines system specs, operations, and features. End users can discuss and identify their application business information needs. Users will assess critical components, networking capabilities, and procedures during this phase.

  1. Development

In phase 4, work begins. This is when a network engineer, software developer, and/or programmer works on the system. This includes using a flowchart to structure the system. This is considered the most labor-intensive SDLC level. Phase 4 begins with software and hardware production.

  1. Validation and Compatibility

QA specialists perform system integration and testing in the fifth stage. They will have to evaluate the proposed layout to see if it helps the company achieve its primary objectives. Bugs, interoperability, and other issues can be tested multiple times.

  1. Implementation

When a sizable chunk of the code is done, the next phase can begin. The deployment of the finished app also occurs during this stage. Through a direct cutover, the project is implemented by transferring all necessary components and data from the old system to the new one.

Although the switch is complex and fraught with uncertainty, the danger is reduced significantly because it is typically implemented during off-peak hours. This is the point at which both end-users and system analysts should be able to see the fruits of your labors in the form of a polished, fully functional project.

  1. Technical Service & Maintenance

Following system deployment and customer use of the developed system, three events take place:

  • Correction of flaws: problems are reported due to untested use cases.
  • Upgrading, or switching to the most recent version of the software.
  • In software development, "enhancement" refers to the process of adding new capabilities to an already existing program.

The primary goal of this SDLC stage is to guarantee that the system keeps functioning as per the initial phase's specifications.

System Development Life Cycle Models

The Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) provides a framework for managing the obstacles you'll face as you go from the project's inception to its completion.

While there are differences between these SDLC phases, they all aim to help teams provide high-quality software as quickly and cheaply as feasible.

  • Waterfall Model

In contrast to other structured SDLC approaches, Waterfall's approach to completing each stage before moving on to the next is the simplest and most time-tested.

There's a distinct plan for each phase that builds on what was learned in earlier phases. The Waterfall methodology is intuitive and straightforward to control.

However, setbacks experienced at the beginning of a project might have a domino effect on the entire schedule.

Once a stage is complete, there is minimal room for change, thus problems cannot be addressed until the maintenance phase begins. The necessity for adaptation or the persistence of the project is not a good fit for this paradigm.

Waterfall Model
Waterfall Model
  • Iterative Model

One may say that the Iterative model is the embodiment of repetition. When developing software, it is common practice to implement a subset of requirements first, then test, analyze, and identify any missing ones.

Each iteration results in a brand-new version of the software. Repeat steps (if necessary) until the entire system is ready.

Compared to other SDLC models, this one has the benefit of providing a working version early on and making it cheaper to add changes. One drawback is that constant iteration might quickly use up available resources.

  • Spiral Model

The Spiral model is one of the most adaptable SDLC approaches since it borrows from the Iterative model and its emphasis on iteration to guide the project through its four phases repeatedly till completion.

With this method, you can create a one-of-a-kind product by incorporating consumer feedback from the very beginning of the development process.

However, you run the risk of making the project spiral indefinitely.

  • V-Shaped Model

The V-shaped paradigm, also known as the Verification and Validation model, is an offshoot of Waterfall that stresses testing at each stage of development.

Each next phase starts only after the preceding one has concluded, just as in Waterfall.

As it is still challenging to go back and make changes, this model is best used when there are no unexpected requirements.

V-Shaped Model
  • Agile Model

The Agile model is often regarded as a practical method for product development because of its ability to rapidly deliver working products through iterative processes.

Regular updates are being put out by the model, each of which has little improvements over the last. Each iteration of the product's development includes a round of testing.

Because clients, programmers, and testers all collaborate, this paradigm places a premium on communication and collaboration.

However, if the customer is unsure about the project's direction, it could move in the wrong path, as this approach relies significantly on communication with the client.

Agile Model
  • Big Bang Model

The Big Bang model is an outlier among SDLC approaches since it does not adhere to a set process and spends very little time on planning.

The majority of time and money is spent on development, even when the client might not have a clear idea of what is needed. 

This Software Development Life Cycle approach is common for smaller projects with one or two developers.

Big Bang is a high-risk approach that should be avoided for projects of significant size or complexity because of the possibility that the project will need to be restarted if initial needs are misinterpreted.

Big Bang Model

Advantages Of a Clearly Defined System Development Life Cycle

The Systems Development Life Cycle is essential to the success of any project, but why? As was previously noted, it aids teams in delivering high-quality digital goods that cover all bases for their customers. However, that's not all. Also, a clearly defined SDLC has these advantages:

  • superior management oversight throughout the entire development process.
  • openness and disclosure of all activities.
  • requirement specificity.
  • a shared vision for a product.
  • time, money, and outcomes that are predictable.
  • less potential for deviating from the intended path.

Downsides Of the System Development Life Cycle

However, the Systems Development Life Cycle isn't complete without its drawbacks:

  • If diverse unanticipated factors affect the system development process, it can lead to more issues in the future. As an example, if the newly implemented hardware is not functioning correctly, it can extend the development schedule and cost more money.
  • Several strategies lack adaptability.
  • Software project costs may be challenging to estimate at the outset.
  • Team productivity may suffer if testing is left until the conclusion of development.

The Role of Security in the SDLC

Security regulations and testing supposedly slow down development. A secure SDLC process effectively stages privacy during development. It integrates development and security teams with a shared investment in the project to safeguard the software application without delay.

Developers should master secure coding frameworks and API security techniques. They should also use automated methods to discover security problems in their code and the open-source libraries they use.

The management team may also employ a secure to implement a secure product strategy. Managers can undertake a gap analysis to determine which security activities or rules exist, which are missing, and how effective they are at each SDLC stage.

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