SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT METHODOLOGY
Methodology, with respect to software, refers to the procedures by which complex software solutions are created. Methodology is all encompassing – it defines how to build an application from the ground up, from defining the problem all the way through post-implementation support.
Although several proprietary methodologies abound for developing various types of software, they all follow a general pattern: Analysis, Design, and Implementation.
The first stage in creating an application is to define the problem you wish to solve. To begin, the developer must take into account several preliminary questions: How effective is our current system? What does it lack? If we were to create a software solution to this problem, what functions must it carry out? These fundamental questions boil down to the three major aspects of the Analysis phase – Defining the context of the problem, identifying the problem, and defining the answer.
Inexperienced programmers, who would rather simply begin to write code, often consider this initial stage unnecessary. This couldn’t be further from the truth. ; The Analysis stage is the most crucial of all – because problems later on in development almost always occur from an oversight in the general planning of the way the software should be created.
Once the problem and solution have been identified, the next step is to determine whether a software solution to this problem is actually feasible, and if so, the manner in which the actual code will be written and organized. To borrow from the EROOS (Entity Relationship Object Oriented Specification) methodology system, the Design can be broken up into Solution Design, Software Analysis, and Software Design.
The first step in the Design phase is to determine the solution’s feasibility. This means that upon taking into account the extensiveness of the solution, deciding whether the solution is worth the cost in materials and manpower. There are many factors affecting feasibility, including budget...