Rapid application development

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Rapid application development

One of the problems with these methods is that they were based on a traditional engineering model used to design and build things like bridges and buildings. Software is an inherently different kind of artifact. Software can radically change the entire process used to solve a problem.

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As a result, knowledge gained from the development process itself can feed back to the requirements and design of the solution. RAD approaches, on the other hand, recognize that software development is a knowledge intensive process and provide flexible processes that help take advantage of knowledge gained during the project to improve or adapt the solution.

Boehm and other subsequent RAD approaches emphasized developing prototypes as well as or instead of rigorous design specifications. Prototypes had several advantages over traditional specifications: A prototype could test some of the most difficult potential parts of the system early on in the life-cycle.

This can provide valuable information as to the feasibility of a design and can prevent the team from pursuing solutions that turn out to be too complex or time consuming to implement. This benefit of finding problems earlier in the life-cycle rather than later was a key benefit of the RAD approach.

The earlier a problem can be found the cheaper it is to address. Users are better at using and reacting than at creating specifications. In the waterfall model it was common for a user to sign Rapid application development on a set of requirements but then when presented with an implemented system to suddenly realize that a given design lacked some critical features or Rapid application development too complex.

In general most users give much more useful feedback when they can experience a prototype of the running system rather than abstractly define what that system should be.

Prototypes can be usable and can evolve into the completed product. One approach used in some RAD methods was to build the system as a series of prototypes that evolve from minimal functionality to moderately useful to the final completed system.

The advantage of this besides the two advantages above was that the users could get useful business functionality much earlier in the process.

It is important to distinguish between RAD as a general alternative to the waterfall model and RAD as the specific method created by Martin. The Martin method was tailored toward knowledge intensive and UI intensive business systems. These practitioners, and those like them, helped RAD gain popularity as an alternative to traditional systems project life cycle approaches.

The RAD approach also matured during the period of peak interest in business re-engineering. The idea of business process re-engineering was to radically rethink core business processes such as sales and customer support with the new capabilities of Information Technology in mind. RAD was often an essential part of larger business re engineering programs.

The rapid prototyping approach of RAD was a key tool to help users and analysts "think out of the box" about innovative ways that technology might radically reinvent a core business process. Users, managers, and IT staff members discuss and agree on business needs, project scope, constraints, and system requirements.

It ends when the team agrees on the key issues and obtains management authorization to continue. User design phase — during this phase, users interact with systems analysts and develop models and prototypes that represent all system processes, inputs, and outputs.

User Design is a continuous interactive process that allows users to understand, modify, and eventually approve a working model of the system that meets their needs. Construction phase — focuses on program and application development task similar to the SDLC. In RAD, however, users continue to participate and can still suggest changes or improvements as actual screens or reports are developed.

Rapid application development

Its tasks are programming and application development, coding, unit-integration and system testing. Cutover phase — resembles the final tasks in the SDLC implementation phase, including data conversion, testing, changeover to the new system, and user training.

Analyze and Optimize

Compared with traditional methods, the entire process is compressed. As a result, the new system is built, delivered, and placed in operation much sooner. The advantages of RAD include: By having users interact with evolving prototypes the business functionality from a RAD project can often be much higher than that achieved via a waterfall model.

The software can be more usable and has a better chance to focus on business problems that are critical to end users rather than technical problems of interest to developers. Although much of the literature on RAD focuses on speed and user involvement a critical feature of RAD done correctly is risk mitigation.

A RAD approach can focus in early on the key risk factors and adjust to them based on empirical evidence collected in the early part of the process. More projects completed on time and within budget.

By focusing on the development of incremental units the chances for catastrophic failures that have dogged large waterfall projects is reduced. In the Waterfall model it was common to come to a realization after six months or more of analysis and development that required a radical rethinking of the entire system.Apex Training Experts.

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Rapid application development

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Rapid application development (RAD) is a suite of software development methodology techniques used to expedite software application development.

Rapid Application Development | Accenture Liquid Studios