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What is SDLC? – Phases of Design and Development

By Santosh Kumar | October 31, 2020 | Software Development

Software development life cycle, or SDLC, is an application of building software applications. It includes the phases of software design and development that is typically categorized into phases like planning, defining requirements, design, building, documentation, testing, deploying and management. The number of stages depends on the project managers as they are the once combining, splitting or omitting steps, based on the scope of the concerned project.

SDLC is the method of improving and measuring the application development process. It enables the development team to track and analyze each step, helping companies with maximum efficiency at each phase/stage. With higher computing power, developers are in high demand. So, software development companies need to implement reduced costs, meet all the customer needs, and ensure faster end-product delivery. SDLC is the key to achieving these goals by determining areas of higher costs and fixing them for smoother running of the software.

We have got you the different phases of SDLC that contribute to developing a software application successfully.

Phases of software design and development


The first phase is planning, which includes the project managers evaluating the terms and timeline. From calculating material and labor costs to framing milestones for target goals to developing the team and leadership structure for the project, everything is done shrewdly before presenting the strategy to the client.

It also involves feedback from the customer to ensure it suits their requirements well. This stage should cover defining scope and purpose of the software application clearly. With the course and provision plotted smartly, the team gets a clearer idea of creating the software. It also builds boundaries to help in keeping the project from shifting or extending from the original purpose.


Defining requirements is included as a part of the planning process. It determines what the application is supposed to do, and accordingly, the requirements are outlined. Suppose it’s a social media application and requires the ability to connect with another individual. The inventory program will need a search feature.

At this stage, the project manager also ensures of defining the required resources to develop the application. In case a customer wants to have software designed to control a manufacturing machine, the machine is the project’s requirement.

Design and prototyping

The design and prototyping phase shows the working of the software application. Some of the significant aspects of designing include:

Architecture: It covers programming language, overall design, industry practices, and use of any boilerplate or templates.

User Interface: It defines how the customers interact with the application and how it responds to their input.

Platforms: It includes the platforms on which the software application will run, Such as Android, Apple, Linux, Windows version, or even gaming consoles.

Communications: It talks about how the application interacts with other assets, such as the central server or various other instances of the software application.

Programming: Other than the programming language, it includes the methods of [erforming task and solving problems in the application.

Security: It outlines the measures implemented to secure the application, such as SSL traffic encryption, secure storage of the user credentials, and password protection.

Prototyping is a part of the design process. A prototype is one of the previous versions of the software, which explains the basic idea of how the application will look and work. The hands-on design can be displayed to the customers, and the feedback is used to enhance and improve the application. Modifying the prototype os less expensive than rewriting code to alter the development phase.

Software development

The software development phase is when the program is written. In the case of a small project, one developer can successfully write the program. However, when it is building a large project, multiple teams might get together to finish writing the program. Teams use an Access Control or Source Code Management application at this stage. These techniques and systems support developers in tracking changes to the code. It ensures compatibility between various team projects to confirm all the target goals are met as expected.

The coding process involves a lot of tasks, and developers need to polish their skills for working in a team. One of the critical parts of this phase is determining and fixing errors and glitches. Specific tasks hold up the development stage, like compiling code for the application to run or waiting for some test results. With SDLC, these delays can be anticipated, and developers can have other areas to concentrate during this time.

Software developers mostly appreciate explanations and instructions. Documentation might seem to be a formal process, including the wiring of a user guide for the software application. But, it can also be informal, such as comments in the source code that explains why a developer used a particular procedure. Companies strive to develop software that is easy and get intuitive benefits from the documentation.

It can be a guided tour of the basic features of the concerned application that is displayed on the first launch. It can either be video tutorials or written documentation, such as troubleshooting guides, user guides, and FAQs that help users get answers to technical questions and solve problems.


It’s essential to test a software application before releasing it to the users. Most of the testing part is automated, like security testing. Other testing procedures can be carried out in a specific environment, like a simulated production environment for complicated deployments. Testing of an app makes sure that all the functionalities work smoothly.

Different parts of the software are tested to ensure seamless working as a combined set. The testers carry out performance tests to minimize any lags or hangs in processing. This phase helps to mitigate bugs and glitches that users face, leading to greater user satisfaction and increased usage rate.


The deployment phase is when the application is released on the app store for the users. Most companies plan to automate this phase – a simple payment portal or download link on their website. It can also be a software application users can download on their smartphone or other mobile devices.

However, deployment can be a tricky job – upgrading a broader database to a new application. As multiple systems are using the database, integrating it can take more effort and time.

Operations and maintenance

The last phase is operations and maintenance, which takes place after the deployment cycle. It is also a crucial stage as users come across bugs and glitches that remained undiscovered during testing. The identified errors and bugs are to be fixed or resolved. A serious glitch might also spawn a new development cycle!

SDLC models and methodologies


This SDLC model is one of the classic methods of development. With the completion of each phase, the project moves smoothly into the next stage. The waterfall is a proven model, and one of its advantages is that each step can be monitored and evaluated for feasibility and continuity before moving on to the next phase. However, it’s limited in speed as one phase must finish for the next to begin.


Agile is a model built by developers to prioritize customer requirements. It focuses mainly on input and user experience. The model resolves several problems of the older applications that were difficult and arcane to use. Not only this, but it also makes the software extensively responsive to customer feedback. Responding to a fast-changing market, Agile model releases software cycles faster. It needs a strong team with fantastic communication. It can also revive a failing project due to over-relying on customer feedback.


In the case of the Iterative SDLC model, the developers build a basic version of the app quickly and take small steps or iterations to review and improve the application. Developers mostly use this model for large applications. With this model, an application can be up and functional faster to keep up with the client’s business requirements. However, there’s a risk of using unplanned resources because the model can exceed its scope.


DevOps is a security model that involves operations in the development cycle. Somewhat similar to Agile, it improves the relevance and usability of applications. One crucial benefit of the DevOps model is the feedback from users on the framework (design) and implementation steps. However, there’s a drawback that it needs active communication and collaboration. The additional costs can be managed by automating sections of the development process.

In a nutshell

Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a process we follow at Tectra Technologies while developing a software application, ensuring best results within the estimated timeline. If you are looking forward to building software for your business, we are all ears to know your requirements!

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