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  • Jan. 2013
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The Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC), or Software Development Life Cycle in systems engineering, information systems and software engineering, is the process of creating or altering systems, and the models and methodologies that people use to develop these systems. The concept generally refers to computer or information systems. It is a type of methodology used to describe the process for building information systems, intended to develop information systems in a very deliberate, structured and methodical way, reiterating each stage of the life cycle

SDLC is a process used by a systems analyst to develop an information system, including requirements, validation, training, and user (stakeholder) ownership. Any SDLC should result in a high quality system that meets or exceeds customer expectations, reaches completion within time and cost estimates, works effectively and efficiently in the current and planned Information Technology infrastructure, and is inexpensive to maintain and cost-effective to enhance. Computer systems are complex and often (especially with the recent rise of Service-Oriented Architecture) link multiple traditional systems potentially supplied by different software vendors. To manage this level of complexity, a number of SDLC models have been created: "waterfall"; "fountain"; "spiral"; "build and fix"; "rapid prototyping"; "incremental"; and "synchronize and stabilize".

SDLC models can be described along a spectrum of agile to iterative to sequential. Agile methodologies, such as XP and Scrum, focus on light-weight processes which allow for rapid changes along the development cycle. Iterative methodologies, such as Rational Unified Process and Dynamic Systems Development Method, focus on limited project scopes and expanding or improving products by multiple iterations. Sequential or big-design-up-front (BDUF) models, such as Waterfall, focus on complete and correct planning to guide large projects and risks to successful and...