Business software is a set of computer programs designed for use by businesses to facilitate operations. The computer programs help to boost and measure productivity. Business software is built to meet the specific business needs of an organization. As such, it cannot be easily transferred to a different business environment. That only happens if the environments are identical in operations.
Because of the unique requirements, it’s unlikely that off-the-shelf software will address your needs. With technological improvements, new software solutions are introduced often to run business operations. For that reason, it’s important that you choose a package that will meet the needs of your business. You must also ensure that it falls under your budget. Business software handles many tasks including:
- Taking care of management tasks
- Saving time, labor, and costs
- Boosting efficiency and accuracy
- Avoiding mistakes in operations
- Keeping track of the business progress
Developers use the software development life cycle to design, develop, and test software. Every step of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is decided upon by the software development process model. The SDLC takes care of producing high-quality software that meets industry expectations. The SDLC methodologies support the designing of the software. A well-thought-out methodology must support the maintenance of the software. Every phase produces outcomes needed to implement the step in the software’s life cycle.
The requirements are then translated into perfect designs. The testing stage is one of the important stages in SDLC. That’s because if anything goes wrong in this stage, it can lead to the repetition of the whole coding process. Having the best test automation software ensures all the variants of functional testing are done. Testing and all other stages in SDLC get concocted by the development team. No stage is feasible without the other. The following are the steps to building your business software.
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1. Identify the business problem to be solved
The software can solve the challenges experienced in business operations. It helps to take care of the following:
- Boosting efficiency
- Manage teams
- Tracking and managing inventory
- Helping the business scale
- Helping team members in the field
- Sorting out workplace disputes
To develop effective software, you need to identify what limits your productivity. After the identification, you can begin looking for ways to eliminate the problems.
2. Brainstorming and planning
Brainstorming is an important step in the SDLC process. Here, any proposal must be considered before approval. During planning, project managers must evaluate the terms of the project. The process involves calculating labor and material costs. It also involves creating a timetable with target objectives and the leadership structure. This stage also involves the inclusion of feedback from stakeholders.
The stakeholders can include developers, potential clients, subjects matter experts, and sales representatives. Project managers must ensure the scope and purpose of the software gets defined. That’s because it plots the course and provisions of the team to develop the software. It sets boundaries that prevent the project from shifting away from its original purpose.
3. Requirements and feasibility analysis
It’s during this stage that the project gets specified in detail. Project managers get the chance to assess the feasibility of the project. Requirement management can get automated through collaboration tools like the Atlassian confluence. These tools help in writing requirements without doing it manually in a word processor. Here, you define what the application is supposed to do and its requirements. For instance, social media software would need to have the ability to connect with others.
An inventory program may need a search feature. As part of the requirements, you may need to define the resources needed to develop the project. For instance, you can create software to control a custom manufacturing machine. In this case, the machine should be a requirement. The feasibility analysis outlines the technical and financial factors that impact software development. Factors like resources and team involvement help in calculating returns on investment.
4. Design and prototyping
This is a very important step in the software development process. It’s during this stage that software architecture matches specific project criteria. The app’s engineers develop a custom application that follows set standards. This includes a defined product design and a database structure and design. The project’s structure is created during this phase. That includes the final prototype that will be used in successive stages of the development.
Being part of the design stage, a prototype is like an early version of the software. It’s an indication of how the final product will look and work. The prototype can be shown to stakeholders and their feedback is used to improve the software. Remember, it’s less expensive to make changes during the prototyping stage. Compared to rewriting code to make modifications in the development stage.
5. Software development and coding
This stage is the backbone of the whole software development life cycle. It entails producing code and translating design documentation into the actual software application. The team must ensure their code is per the software specifications. Project managers must also ensure that the specifications adhere to stakeholders’ requirements. If the previous stages were well done, then the software will meet the project’s requirements.
6. Integration and testing
This stage includes system testing and integration. It begins after the application has been constructed and completed. This can differ based on the automation test procedure used. Automation test engineers employ automated test frameworks in conjunction with continuous integration. This is done to execute unit tests, automation compilation, and testing. To ensure the code is clean, automation test engineers must run an automation tester. Verifications are crucial as they help to ensure that the software is effective. The implementation stage starts once it’s guaranteed that the software is bug-free.
7. Implementation and deployment
It’s during this stage that the product gets installed. The process here gets carried out per the implementation strategy. The developed and tested software is moved into production. Only particular changes get released in successive releases. Based on possible project complications or lack of it, it may be a simple or staggered release. After the release, end-users get the chance to test the completed software application. Automation gives managers the ability to move the app between testing and production. This helps with the repeatable and reliable deployment across the applications delivery cycle.
8. Operation and maintenance
Maintenance and successive upgrades are done during the final step of development. Special attention is given at this phase because the app must be updated and fine-tuned. It’s during this phase that the application’s features are solidified. Its performance also gets updated and adjustments are made based on feedback. New capabilities can be added to meet the needs of the user.
The software development life cycle shows development managers what’s happening. It also shows them where the development process can be improved. Like any business process, SDLC focuses on improving the process of creating an app. It develops a scalable view of the project from day-to-day coding, to managing production timelines.