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Software development, implementation and support services

by Mic Johnson

Modern business is impossible to imagine without the software development service, which allows reducing the time and financial costs, solving many problems, optimizing both the internal work of the company and the process of interaction with customers, reducing risks, increasing the competitiveness of companies.

Software development stages

Software development is a process that includes several aspects. This process is creative as it requires full commitment from developers. But software development is often not without problems with the level of quality, the size of financial investments, and low reliability.

The process of software development takes place in several stages. These stages describe the level of readiness of the created software product. For any software is extremely important quality development, because testing and the entire process of creation can sometimes take several months, it is necessary to make a huge number of measurements, and this, in turn, is a serious time and money.

High quality and usability of the developed interface, as well as complete customer satisfaction, should play an important role in this entire process. For any professional company, these components must be in the first place. Software requirements development is a very important stage in any project. If a mistake is made in the definition of the task, then even if the requirements are fulfilled one hundred percent well, the goal of the project will not be reached. The requirements for the developed program should be clear and precise, only, in this case, the customer will like the final result.

The life cycle of the program

Let’s list the main stages of the program life cycle and give a brief description of each of the stages. All development includes:

  • The acquisition process. This process represents the actions of the software development customer and usually includes such activities as the formation of requirements and restrictions to the software product (the restrictions may be related to the choice of software architecture, as well as to the acceptable system performance, etc.); conclusion of the development contract; analysis and audit of the contractor’s work. At the end of this process, the customer accepts the finished software product.
  • The delivery process includes activities performed by the contractor to deliver the software. The Executor analyzes the customer’s requirements, carries out the design and analysis of the work, decides how the design process (programming) will be carried out: by itself or with the involvement of outside development teams, also evaluates and monitors the quality of the finished software product and performs the direct delivery of the product and the accompanying final steps.
  • The development process.
  • Operation process. Once the software is ready, the process of its operation by the customer organization and its operators begins.
  • The support process. The developer supports the users of the software product in case they have any questions or problems. If an error in the software will be found during operation, the developers should fix it. The operation process and the maintenance process go in parallel.

The quality level of the product

The quality level directly affects the readiness of the product for serial production, so another major step in the development process is a well-crafted ToR for software development. Writing the requirements specification is a responsible and difficult task because most of the data is not yet known, but just the right way to set the task can simplify or on the contrary complicate the further design. 

The customer often does not have the appropriate knowledge and skills or has limited resources, so he asks for help from a developer. Many experts believe that a competent TOR – is already fifty percent of success, so the time spent on its preparation – is one of the correct investments made by the customer. It is important to trust this initial stage to real professionals who will think through and calculate everything at once, helping to save your time and money.

After the drawing up of requirements for software and the elaboration of the terms of reference, the design is in progress. At this stage is the development of solutions to the project to select the platform on which the system will operate, allocated requirements for the user interface to the hardware. The next step is coding, that is, the algorithm is written in a programming language. Today this stage is quite automated, so the process of software development is often accelerated.

There are various websites, programming forums, and other sources of useful information which help to quickly learn new technologies and techniques. After the stage of software implementation – the developers use experimentation and analysis, at this stage a working version of the developed product is created. A further stage is testing, here there is a check of compliance to the requirements, check the design. The result of testing – the elimination of all system deficiencies. At the last stage – the introduction and support made system installation, trained users, and goes operation of the developed software.

Each development must be accompanied by a full package of documents, including a description of the system, user manual, and work algorithm. It is worth attentively choosing the developer because the quality level and the final result of the work depend on it, and it is also necessary to stipulate all the nuances that should be considered during the software development.

Supporting processes

The technology of software development in the framework of the software life cycle includes a number of auxiliary processes:

  • Documentation process. During the development process and further on the performer writes documentation and user manuals for the software product being developed. These documents help the developers [to remember/understand] the software structure and code (because one forgets everything with time, especially in large projects) and help the users to master the work with the program.
  • The process of configuration management. This process includes the work on control of the sets of the developed software components and on control of the software versions.
  • The process of quality assurance. It is responsible for the developed software product complying with the preliminary requirements for the development, as well as the standards of the performer and the customer organizations.
  • Verification process. It is needed to detect errors introduced into the software during the design process and also to detect deviations of the developed software from the developed architecture.
  • Validation process. The process is aimed at confirming that the values obtained correspond to the reference ones. That is, the output data should have an error that meets the requirements and established standards.
  • Collaborative assessment process. It is needed to control and check the state of the personnel and the developed software product. It is performed by both parties (the customer and the contractor) for the duration of all project work.
  • Audit process. The audit aims at an independent evaluation of current regulations, project status, documentation, and reports. The audit compares the project with the contract and the documents defining the standards. Can also be performed by both parties.
  • Problem Resolution Process. Realizes the elimination of deficiencies identified during all processes related to control and evaluation.

After implementing the program, test it with some sample input data and verify that the output is correct. Some of the problems can involve many cases, as you will see in the chapters that follow. For these types of problems, you need to develop test data that covers all cases.

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