Custom web design and development is the process of designing and creating software that fulfills the requirement of a specific set of users. It plays a vital role in understanding consumer demands and solving them more conveniently.
Businesses require custom software development to conveniently interact with their users and showcase their products and services. It also helps businesses automate their interior business activities, such as content management and bug tracking.
Custom software helps businesses grow their brand awareness and personalize their user interaction. Some of the examples of custom software include:
- A business process automation system
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- E-commerce Softwares
The success of a custom software development project depends on the style of the management and the method used to build it. To decide on a methodology for custom software development is an important decision.
Your goals will determine the most suitable methodology for your project. You should clearly define your goals at the start of the development process. Only after a thorough examination of the project can you determine the most suitable methodology for your project.
Let us discuss some of the methodologies in detail:
1. Big bang model for custom software development:
The big bang model is taken into action when the clients fail at describing their specific requirements from the project. It does not require any pre-hand planning. The developers are not required to follow any rigid formate or protocols.
The big bang model is also beneficial while creating a revamped version of the existing software. This scenario requires the transfer of all the users of the previous software to the new one. There needs to be a web design and development methodology that takes place promptly, at the snap of a finger.
Advantages of the big bang model:
- There is no need for planning. Developers come up with something functional in a short period and begin coding.
- There is no need for managerial support. No formal hierarchy in the process of software development is required.
- This kind of project does not require mass manpower.
Disadvantages of the big bang model:
- It does not work well for longer and complicated projects.
- As compared to other SDLC models their is a higher risk of failure.
2. Protocol model
It is one of the most popularly used custom software application development methodologies. The protocol model aims to develop software that meets all client’s objectives and ensures the best user experience.
As the name suggests, in this model a prototype is built tested. It is reworked upon until the developers obtain the desired results. It is best for projects in which all the objectives are not predefined.
It is an interactive trial and error process between the user and the developers. The prototype model facilitates users to use and test the prototype. It essentializes alteration in the middle of the development process and helps in yielding the best results possible.
Practical application of the prototype model:
At the start of the process, probable future users of the software under development are interviewed, and the basic functionality of the desired product is defined. Based on the initial customer interaction an incomplete paper model is prepared.
This incomplete paper model is used to build a prototype that supports the basic functionality as defined by the user. It is then tested and reviewed by the user. Once the user clarifies other issues, the prototype is refined based on the user interaction.
This process is continuous until the user finds the working model to be satisfactory.
Advantages of the prototype model:-
- The users and the client get to see and use the prototype of the required product early into its development cycle.
- New requirements can be easily incorporated as there is scope for refinement.
- This model facilitates the early detection of problems and errors, saving a lot of time, money, and effort.
- The developed prototype can be reused, for upcoming complicated products.
- The prototype model facilitated flexible design.
Disadvantages of the prototype model:-
- It is costly and time-consuming
- Poor documentation due to continuously changing customer requirements.
- Confusion due to varying demands of different users testing the prototype.
- It is difficult to incorporate all the changes as demanded by the users.
3. Waterfall methodology for software development:
Waterfall methodology is a linear custom software application development methodology. Each phase during the development process needs to complete before the developers begin working on the next one.
This process requires documentation of all phases before moving on to the development process. The success of the waterfall methodology depends on the quality of the work done on the front end. It is essential to understand the client’s requirements and clearly define the goals at the beginning of the project.
With most of the research done upfront, developers can conveniently estimate the time required for each development phase and provide a predictable release date.
Practical application of waterfall methodology:
The waterfall model is a chronological process, which works based on fixed dates, requirements, and outcomes. In this process, another phase does not begin until the previous one finishes. There are five stages in waterfall methodology.
The waterfall methodology require the objectives to be determined beforehand. Developers do their best to understand the requirements of the client. At this stage, a single document is framed to define the timeline of the whole project.
After understanding the problems and requirements of the client, developers frame the technical solution to meet the client’s demands. This phase of the development process requires understanding the product requirements and framing the layouts of the data model. After the compilation of the information, the design is transformers into the physical form with the help of compatible software and hardware technologies.
It is usually the most time-consuming phase of custom software development. But it is different when it comes to the waterfall methodology. This model requires research and the creation of a data model beforehand. It is where the coding and the development of software take place.
d) Verification and testing-
Before a product launch, it is essential to achieve all objectives and eradicate errors. The process involves the final testing of the finished product.
e) Deployment and maintenance-
Once the product is launched maintenance phase begins. In this phase, the project manager assigns a team that tracks user activities. The developers of this team look for further improvement in the product and develop the next version if required.
Advantages of the Waterfall methodology:-
- It is a straightforward, organized, and well-defined methodology with a proven track record.
- It facilitates team coordination and distribution of work among team members.
- Any errors can be cough during the analysis of the design stage.
- It requires beforehand documentation, which facilitates easy progress measurement.
- The cost of the project is predefined.
- The production does not require alteration as the customers are not always adding new requirements.
Disadvantages of the Waterfall methodology:-
- Projects may take longer to deliver as a lot of time is required to plan and document the strategy.
- Any changes in the process can be costly and time-consuming, which makes it less flexible.
- Clients and users are not involved in the design and implementation of the process.
- Delaying one phase means delaying the whole process.
4. Agile software development methodology:-
The agile methodology of software development is a dynamic method for software development. It centers around the idea of iterative development, where objectives and requirements evolve through collaboration between self-organized cross-functional teams.
This method aims to deliver value faster, with enhanced quality and aptitude to respond to change. It is a disciplined project management process that facilitates frequent inspection and adaptation. It is a businesses approach to align development to improve user needs and meet company goals.
Practical application of Agile software development methodology:-
The team scoops out and prioritizes projects and determines the time and work required to complete the project. Once done with that, requirements are understood based on customer interaction.
This process requires depictions such as flow charts and diagrams to understand the process in detail. It allows the project managers to build a timeline and allocate work to team members.
Once done with the documentation, the developers begin working on their first iteration. The product undergoes several rounds of revision before obtaining the best version. The final product is reverified and tested for any errors that might remain. If there are errors, programmers rework and resolve them before their release to the actual audience.
Advantages of the agile methodology:-
- It is a frequentative method of software development that facilitates dynamic software development.
- The customers are satisfied because they receive the end product of every iteration.
- It facilitates active customer participation, which allows them to put forward their reviews and be a part of the development process.
- In this methodology, daily interaction between the client, customer, and the developer is required, which provides flexibility to the process.
- In the agile model, the quality of the software is in primary focus.
Disadvantages of the agile methodology:-
- It is not easy to estimate the actual effort and time required to complete the project.
- Because of the ever-evolving features, there is always a risk of too much time consumption.
- This process lacks documentation, which makes it a complex process.
5. Spiral methodology for software development:-
The spiral model is one of the most practiced models of software development. It is named so, as its diagram depicts a spiral of many loops, each loop represents a phase of the development process.
It is also known as a meta-model, as it subsumes all other SDLC models. For example, a single loop spiral represents the interactive waterfall method. It incorporates the stepwise approach to the classical waterfall method.
Practical application of the spiral model of software development:-
The four quadrants of the spiral model represent the four phases of the software development life cycle. These four quadrants are as follows
a) Objective determination and identifying alternative solutions:-
This phase involves interviewing customers and breaking down the objectives on their basis. Then all the possible solutions to the ongoing project are proposed and are roughly documented.
b) Identify and resolve the risk:-
This process involves the evolution of the solutions proposed in the previous phase. The most suitable solution for the project undertaken is determined. Then the risks associated with the selected method are evaluated. After examining risks, developers frame the strategy and build the prototype.
c) Development and evolution of the next version of the software:-
In this process, developers evaluate the prototype and detect errors. They then start working on the next update and develop a superior version of the current prototype. This process ends when the next version of the software is available.
d) Planning the next phase:
It is the testing phase customers evaluate the finished product. According to the customer suggestion, developers plan the next development cycle.
This process is continuous until the customer is satisfied and there are no more objectives remaining to repeat the spiral.
Advantages of the spiral model:-
- It is the most flexible process as there is a risk analysis at every phase of the development cycle.
- The spiral model is best for large and complex projects as there is plenty of room for improvement.
- There is the active participation of customers in the development cycle.
Disadvantages of the spiral model:-
- The spiral model is more complex than other SDLC models.
- It is not suitable for small projects.
- Too much focus on risk analysis.
- The number of phases is unknown at the start of the process, so it is not easy to determine the time required to complete the project.
How to choose the most suitable software development methodology?
Every project has different needs. Only after understanding the requirements can one determine the methodology that will be best for the project undertaken.
There must be a clear understanding between the web development agency and the client about the project objectives. Start by learning about the SDLC models in detail and assessing the requirements of your stakeholders. Only after a thorough evaluation can you determine the methodology that will be most appropriate for your business.
Manoj Shukla serves Mandy Web Design as the Designing head and guides his team in designing eye-catching websites. Apart from the valuable updates he shares through his blog, he is passionate about teaching. Being an exemplary learner, he inspires his team with perspectives like these.