RAPID APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT
Today, many development organizations are adopting iterative development methodologies emphasized by Rapid Application Development (RAD) cycles. Unlike waterfall development life cycles, where testing is done at the end of the project, iterative life cycles specify testing at multiple points during development. It is easy to understand the importance of including system performance analysis and predictive tuning in the process. Identifying the addressing flows early, especially performance limitations, has as advantage the cuts of the cost to fix them and at the same time minimizes the impact on the project schedule. RAD has been proven to be a valuable software strategy. However, it is not without pitfalls and risks. RAD incorporates some defects that we need to adjust. Research and capitalization should be invested in order to minimize them and use them as of companies’ advantage.
(Source from www.credata.com)
Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a new, highly interactive systems development approach that emerged in the 1990s. RAD is a concept that products can be developed faster and of higher quality. In addition RAD attempts to address both weaknesses of the structured development methodologies, which are: long development times and the difficulty in understanding a system from a paper-based description. RAD methodologies adjust the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) phases to get some part of the system developed quickly and into the hands of the users. What lies beneath this approach is to get the users to better understand the system through interactive and simultaneous revisions, which bring the system closer to what is needed.
How to use RAD
Most RAD methodologies recommend that analysts use special techniques and computer tools to speed up the analysis, design, and implementation phases, such as CASE (Computer-Aided Software Engineering) tools, JAD (Joint Application Design) sessions, fourth-generation/visual programming languages that simplify the speed up programming (e.g., Visual Basic), and code generators that automatically produce programs from design specifications. It is the combination of the changed SDLC phases and the use of theses tools and techniques that improves the speed and quality of systems development. There are process-centered, data-centered, and object-oriented methodologies that follow the basic approaches RAD. Two common methodologies of RAD are phased development and prototyping .
The Phased development methodology breaks the overall system into a series of versions that are developed sequentially. The analysis phase identifies the overall system concept, and the project team, users, and system sponsors, then categorize the requirement into a series of version. The most important and fundamental requirements are bundled into the first version of the system. The analysis phase then leads into design and implementation, but only with a set of requirements identifies for version 1. Once version 1 is implemented, work begins won version 2 and follows the steps, and so on. In the same way, any additional requirements identified during testing of the older version are implemented in the next version. With this way the system gets in the hands of the users very quickly .
The prototyping methodology performs the analysis, design, and implementation phases concurrently, and all three phases are performed repeatedly in a cycle until the system is completed. In this case, the users of the system are an active participant of the system development process. The prototype is handed to the users for testing and to provide comments; which are the reanalyzed and redesigned, and a second prototype is developed. The process continues in a cycle until the users and developers agree to a final system .
References: 1. Article on line from the Web Developer’s Journal, Web Site On Line at http://www.webdevelopersjournal.com/article/rad.htm
2. Web Site On Line, Creative Data by Steve C McConnell, Rapid Development: Timing Wild Software Schedules at http://credata.com/research/rad.html
3. Web Site On Line at http://csweb.cs.edu/maner/domains/RAD/.htm
4. Newsletter on line, Web Site On Line at http://www.pragmaticsw.com/Pragmatic/Newsletters/newsletter_2002_08.htm
5. Software Tech News Web Site On Line By Morton A. Hirschberg-U.S Army Research Laboratory at http://www.dacs.dtic.mil/awareness/newsletters/technews2-1/rad.html
6. Compuware Corporation, Article on line: Taking the risk out of rapid application development at http://www.compuware.com
7. Alan Dennis and Barbara Haley Wixom, Systems Analysis and Design,
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