Rapid Application Development (Rad) the New Approach for Systems Development

Topics: Rapid application development, Software development process, Systems Development Life Cycle Pages: 9 (2777 words) Published: August 18, 2012
Thesis statement.
In a rapid changing environment, software systems must be delivered quickly in order to meet business delivery schedules. Spending months and years developing systems to high standards is fruitless if over time requirements change beyond recognition. Software development must serve its customers. Simple value-for-money systems that work are better than expensive and complex ones delivered late, over-budgeted and difficult to maintain. Abstract.

Rapid Application Development (RAD) has long been promised to be a boon to the computing community. The idea is to develop a method of designing software so that the whole process is quick, painless and nearly effortless. RAD appears to have first become topical with the publication of a text by James Martin with the same title (Martin, 1992). In his publication Martin defines the main objectives of RAD as: high quality systems, fast development and delivery and low costs. RAD is an object-oriented approach to system development that includes a method of development as well as software tools. RAD is very similar to prototyping. Conceptually, their main purpose is to shorten the time in a traditional SDLC (system development life cycle) between the design and implementation. RAD is a helpful approach in new e-commerce web- based environments to make the difference by delivering an application to the web before their competitors.

Hierarchical Structure of Topics:
1. History.
2. Essential aspects of RAD.
3. When to use RAD.
4. Disadvantages.
5. Conclusion.

Traditional lifecycles devised in the 1970s, and still widely used today (cascading, one-way steps of Stage wise or Waterfall), are based upon a structured step-by-step approach to developing systems. These old methods required revision and approval from the user before continuing with the next phase of development. This process can take too long and the customer’s requirements can change during the development cycle. Also it takes a long time before the user can see the results and is able to use the final product. In response to these rigid models of development Barry Boehm, Chief SW Engineer at TRW, introduced his Spiral Model. Through his model, Boehm first implemented software prototyping as a way of reducing risk. Other pioneer, Tom Gilb created another approach called Evolutionary Life Cycle. This one is based on an evolutionary prototyping rationale where the prototype is grown and refined into the final product. The work of Boehm and Gilb paved the way for the formulation of the methodology called Rapid Iterative Production Prototyping (RIPP) at DuPont in the mid-to-late 1980s. Then James Martin extended the work done at DuPont and elsewhere into a larger, more formalized process, which has become known as Rapid Application Development (RAD).  

Rapid Application Development is a term originally used to describe a software development process introduced by Martin in 1991. Martin's methodology involves iterative development and the construction of prototypes. RAD compresses the step-by-step development of conventional methods into an iterative process. The RAD approach thus includes developing and refining the data models, process models, and prototype in parallel using an iterative process. More recently, the term and its acronym have come to be used in a broader, generic sense that encompasses a variety of techniques aimed at speeding application development, such as the use of web application frameworks and other types of software frameworks. 2.Essential aspects of RAD.

RAD is normally seen with three or four phases and users are involved in all the phases. The first Phase
The planning phase. Users and analysts need to identify the objectives of the application or system to identify information requirements arising from those objectives. This phase requires intense involvement from both groups not just signing a proposal. It may involve users from different levels...
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