The Application Development Life Cycle
Application development is the process of creating computer software applications or mobile phone applications to perform different tasks for a business or for its customers.
Though there are thousands of off-the-shelf software options or even software that allows users to make basic phone applications, sometimes businesses have specialized needs that require something more custom.
Have a tired Excel spreadsheet or Access database that needs an upgrade? The professionals at RoboSource can turn your spreadsheet into a web-based application that can be accessed by multiple team members at once – and one that is tailored exactly to your needs. Let us guide you through the entire software project life cycle, from the front-end user experience to the back-end data model.
But first, make sure you know what you’re getting into. Keep reading as we answer the question: What is application development and what is included in its life cycle?
Four Things to Know About Application Development
1. It’s expensive
Application development requires a team of highly specialized programmers, project managers, analysts, and more. If you’re considering app development, make sure you have a large budget available.
2. It takes time
Your development team is literally building your application one line of code at a time, and that takes some time. RoboSource uses an iterative Agile software methodology so there is a lot of time invested in meetings with the client, making sure we’re on track.
3. It will require time on your part
Good application development is a constant back-and-forth with the client. And if the client doesn’t prioritize the project, it can really mess with the development team and affect timelines. Don’t enter into an application development project during your busiest time of year.
4. It CAN be done well
Application development gets a bad reputation because there are often disconnects with regards to timelines and price. RoboSource uses an innovative point model that puts the customer in charge of spending, rather than the other way around. And because we prioritize customer service and project organization, RoboSource is able to boast on-time delivery 90% of the time.
So you’re ready for application development. What should you expect?
What’s Included in the Application Development Life Cycle?
The very last thing you want to do is pay a development team to write software that isn’t what you need. That’s why we spend so much time up front in discovery. Each discovery phase is necessary for our business analysts to translate business needs into technical documentation, which tells our development teams exactly what to do. During this phase, you’ll need to be ready to answer questions like:
- How many categories of users will your application have? What will each category have access to?
- What kind of device will your application be used on – computer, tablet, phone, or all three?
- What’s the purpose of this project?
- And a million other tiny details specific to the project.
Once an analyst has a solid idea of how the software should look, they will work with user experience designers to build mockups. Having the client approve mockups is another way to prevent costly mistakes. With mockups, you’ll be able to “see” exactly how your application will look before the development team ever touches it.
Now we know how the application should work and look, but there’s still a lot of work to turn it into a functioning web application. At this point, the software development life cycle team has hands-on keyboards – developers are starting the coding part of the process. Development is divided into two categories:
- Front-end development – This is developing the part of the application that a user sees and interacts with.
- Back-end development – This is the behind-the-scenes work that enables the application to communicate with the various databases. Back-end development encompasses the server-side of the application.
Once the development team says they are finished with a piece of functionality, we want to test it – making sure it does exactly what we expect it to do. If it fails in testing, back to the development team it goes!
Because RoboSource is an Agile shop, we’ll iterate through the first four stages of the cycle many, many times. But when the application is complete, we’ll publish it in an app store or figure out where it’s going to “live” online.
Since software lives on the internet, things change and break, so you should expect to pay for a support contract to keep your software up to date and in top condition. This is also where you can add new features occasionally.
Contact RoboSource for Application Development Services
Want to talk to RoboSource about your application development project? Your original consultation is always free at RoboSource.