The concept of Iterative Model in a Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
The iterative model implemented in any Software Development Life Cycle is all about an initial, simplified implementation which may or may not gain more complexity in future. Furthermore, it is can even be called as a broader feature set until and unless the final system is accomplished. Now while discussing the model, chances are there that he concept of incremental development will also often be used liberally and interchangeably. This means incremental alterations made during the design and implementation of each new iteration.
In the following post, we will get into the skin of the iterative model, including where all this began from and how the process is actually implemented in the current scenario.
So let’s get started!
Earlier when agile development models such as iterative came into existence and acceptance over the waterfall model, it turned out that these kind of methods were more often used in projects as early as the 1950s. During which the Air Force of the United States and NASA worked together in order to develop the X-15 hypersonic aircraft by simply making use of a largely iterative design process throughout. Although, it wasn’t directly a software development project but its success definitely led NASA to use an iterative model for software development of Project Mercury, the first manned spaceflight for the United States.
After a few subsequent decades, iterative methods have been implemented in a wide range of software applications starting from modern web applications and high-performance gaming clients to Defense’s software acquisition standard.
Unlike the conventional waterfall model which focuses more on the stringent step-by-step process of development stages, the iterative model is a cyclical process. After initial planning phase, a small handful of stages are repeated over and over. It may quite interest you to know that within the model, all enhancements can be recognized and implemented on the quick basis throughout each iteration allowing the next iteration to be at least marginally better than the last.
Planning & Requirements- Like almost other projects, a software development company goes through an initial planning stage. They map out all the specification documents, establish software or hardware requirements and prepare for all the other upcoming stages.
Analysis & Design- Once the planning is done, an analysis is performed in order to nail down the appropriate business logic, database models, etc. Next, comes the design stage where procedures like establishing any technical requirements is done, i.e. languages, data layers, services, etc which will be sooner or later utilized in order to meet the needs of the analysis stage.
Implementation- After they are done with appropriate planning and analysis, the actual implementation and coding process begins. All planning, specification, and design docs are created with accuracy up to this point. And things are coded and implemented into this initial iteration of the project.
Testing- As soon as the current build iteration has been coded and implemented, developers gear themselves up to go through a series of testing procedures to identify and locate any potential bugs or issues that have cropped up.
Evaluation- Once all prior stages have been completed, it is time for a thorough evaluation of development up to this stage. Which means the entire team of software developers, as well as clients or other outside parties, require examining where the project is at, where it needs to be, what can or should change and so forth.
This is the essence of entire iterative model. So, now the real fun begins!