Software Development Life Cycle and Testing

These five phases constitute the life cycle of a software project called the software development life cycle (SDLC).

The Five Phases of the SDLC:
1. CONCEPTION
2. INITIATION
3. ANALYSIS
4. DESIGN
5. CONSTRUCTION

Phase 1 – CONCEPTION: This phase starts as soon as someone, either a user or a member of the data processing department, recognizes a problem or opportunity that suggests a data processing solution.
The objective of this phase is to answer the following questions:

– What is the perceived problem (or opportunity)?
– What are the goals to be achieved by the solution?
– What benefits will result from achieving the solution?
– What will be the scope of the project?

These details may be recorded in an informal note or in a formal document. This document is called Project Request Form.

Phase2 – INITIATION: In this phase the analyst, working with the user, does a preliminary study of the user’s need. The information developed during this phase permits the organization to decide if it is worth spending money on the project.

The key information to be recorded consists of the following:

– Proposed system solution
– Alternative solutions considered
– Economic justification (Cost Benefit Analysis)
– Schedule of time and cost estimates for the completion of the project

This document is referred to as System Proposal.

Phase 3 – ANALYSIS: During this phase, the analyst and user come to a detailed agreement on the functions that the proposed system has to perform. A detailed document is prepared containing:

– Outputs to be produced
– Inputs that must be received
– Data to be retained
– Procedure to get the outputs from the given inputs
– Audit and control requirements: This specifies the features that are required to ensure that the user can monitor the system to check that it is working properly.

– System Acceptance Criteria: This lists the tests that the user would actually perform to check conformity with the previously agreed performance requirement and other specifications, before accepting the system.

This document is called Function Specifications. In addition to creating Function Specifications, the Cost Benefit Analysis prepared during the Initiation phase should be reviewed for accuracy. Similarly, the cost and time estimate should also be reviewed/revised.

Phase 4 – DESIGN: At this point, the emphasis changes from defining the user’s requirement to defining how the system will work. The documentation developed is technical. The design documentation should specify:

– Exactly how each input, output, operation, file and audit control requirement will be handled
– Acceptance test plan/schedule
– Facilities, equipment and personal required
– Manual procedure required to operate the system

This document is referred to as Design Specification. At this point again, the Cost Benefit Analysis and cost/time estimates are reviewed /revised.

Phase 5 – CONSTRUCTION: The last phase in the system development procedure includes three activities:

– Completing and testing computer programs and operating instructions for using the package (Run Manual, User Manual).
– Performing all tasks to carry out the conversion from the system currently in use to the new system.
– Conducting the final testing of the system to determine if it performs according to the acceptance criteria established during the Analysis phase.

Another essential activity for any system is the system evaluation. During system evaluation the performance of the system in a real life environment is assessed.

This is not considered a phase as:

– It may be several months before it is possible to take the first measurement of system effectiveness.
By this time the project development team might have been disbanded or moved to other projects.
– It is an ongoing activity. In fact, it should be regarded as a project in itself.
– The results of the system evaluation might indicate that the system has to be modified /re-developed.

Testing:
Software Testing is the course of completing a program or system with the intention of finding errors. Or, it involves any activity aimed at appraising an attribute or capability of a program or system and determining that it meets its required results.

The testing process:
1. Create test plans.
The test plan documentation consists of two documents:
• Detailed test plan (DTP) document
• Detailed test case (DTC) document
2. Review the design.
The design review also helps in identifying the scenarios that must be tested for one or more of the following:
• Possible security attacks
• Performance optimizations
• Profiling to ensure that there are no memory leaks
3. Perform black box testing.
Black box testing includes the following:
• Testing all of the external interfaces for all possible usage scenario
• Ensuring that the interfaces meet the functional specifications and address all of the requirements testing for various types of input.
• Testing for various types of input.
• Performance testing
• Load testing.
• Stress testing
• Security testing

Custom Software Development – A Vital Business Resource

Custom software development is becoming more and more vital as a commerce tool for many different types of business, but what exactly is it, and how can it improve a company’s performance?

Custom software development specialists explore exactly what it is a company does – what the necessities of the company are on a day to day basis and what they need from their IT system in order to operate to their optimum. In order to perform efficient functionality, a company would ideally need its software to do exactly what they want it to. And that’s where custom software development really gets stuck in.

Off the shelf software packages work perfectly well for some businesses but they can also pose troubles for many users if the package is not specifically geared towards fulfilling a company’s everyday business needs. On the other hand, what is the point in installing software within a business which will never be touched and does not aid the functionality of a company?

This is a regular occurrence for many companies who use generically manufactured software as it is very common for software functions to be installed but never ever used. This slows down networks, and clogs up the memory of your computer systems which leads to inefficient performance, not just of your computer network but of the day to day running of a company.

This is where custom software development comes in. Even you are not experiencing noticeable IT problems, a custom software development expert can show your company examples of how similar businesses perform in comparison, and the inefficiencies of your IT system. This auditing service can be extremely beneficial and has proved a successful component of custom software development.

An efficient, easy to use software package will only improve a company’s performance, not only with the daily operations, but will also gain competitive advantages when working towards vital long term goals. Custom software development is a cost effective way of getting that competitive edge over rival businesses, especially in the current economic climate where gaining that all important new client is more important than ever before, with such fine margins proving costly as we battle through the recession.

Often with IT solutions, the proof is in the pudding, and this certainly is the case with custom software development as many businesses experience a noticeable improvement in performance almost immediately when introducing bespoke, tailor made software.

There are many custom software development companies specialising in designing and creating user specific, bespoke software packages that will make an immediate impact upon your business operations. By improving the resourcefulness of your computer network, the day to day operations of a business will be able to be implemented more quickly which will improve the long term running of a company no end.

It’s time to stop cutting corners by buying off the shelf software when there are experts, with impressive testimonies to back up their credentials in custom software development that can improve the performance of your company’s IT systems. A personal service can be offered to you, in order to create the perfect software platform that fits your business like a glove, so follow the herd as custom software development really can be the difference between success and failure in this ever competitive world of commerce.

Supply Chain and Logistics Management

Supply chain management is the supervision of a set of connections of organized businesses drawn in the definitive condition of manufactured goods and service parcels required by ending clientele. Supply Management spans all progress and storage space of raw materials, work-in-process stock, and completed merchandise from point of origin to point of utilization. Supply chainmgnt software includes tools or modules used to carry out dealings, administer supplier associations and be in charge of linked commerce processes.

Six most important activities can be observed in the progression of supply chain management study: Creation, Integration, Globalization Specialization Phases One and Two, and SCM 2.0.Supply chain business course of action involves shared work involving buyers and suppliers, joint product development, common systems and shared information. Common SCM problems involve distribution strategy, distribution of network configuration, trade-offs in logistical activities, information, inventory management and cash-flow.

Successful SCM entails a alteration from managing individual functions to integrating actions into key supply chain processes. An example scenario: the purchasing department places orders as requirements are known. The marketing department, responding to customer requirements, converses with a number of distributors and retailers as it tries to establish ways to satisfy this requirement.

Logistics management activities usually consist of inbound and outbound transportation management, fleet management, warehousing, materials handling, order fulfillment, logistics network design, inventory management, supply/demand planning, and management of third party logistics services providers.

If the Supply chain management is global in nature many more challenges in addition to existing problems comes into picture as the lead time is much longer. Actions in supply chain management can as well be classified into various levels like strategic, tactical and operation.