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Introduction to System Development/Software life cycle models

The trends of increasing technical complexity of the systems, coupled with the need for repeatable and predictable process methodologies, have driven System Developers to establish system development models or software development life cycle models.

Nearly three decades ago the operations in an organization used to be limited and so it was possible to maintain them using manual procedures. But with the growing operations of organizations, the need to automate the various activities increased, since for manual procedures it was becoming very difficult, slow and complicated. Like maintaining records for a thousand plus employees company on papers is definitely a cumbersome job. So, at that time more and more companies started going for automation.

Since there were a lot of organizations, which were opting for automation, it was felt that some standard and structural procedure or methodology be introduced in the industry so that the transition from manual to automated system became easy. The concept of system life cycle came into existence then. Life cycle model emphasized on the need to follow some structured approach towards building new or improved system. There were many models suggested. A waterfall model was among the very first models that came into existence. Later on many other models like prototype, rapid application development model, etc were also introduced.

System development begins with the recognition of user needs. Then there is a preliminary investigation stage. It includes evaluation of present system, information gathering, feasibility study, and request approval. Feasibility study includes technical, economic, legal and operational feasibility. In economic feasibility cost-benefit analysis is done. After that, there are detailed design, implementation, testing and maintenance stages.

In this session, we'll be learning about various stages that make system's life cycle. In addition, different life cycles models will be discussed. These include Waterfall model, Prototype model, Object-Oriented Model, spiral model and Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM).

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