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Rapid Application Development Model In Software Engineering [GUIDELINE]

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If you’re looking for a faster method of application development other than the waterfall model, consider the rapid application development model (RAD). Although it has been around for a while, the RAD approach is still well-liked by companies seeking Agile application development techniques to keep the software development life cycle in step with expanding customer and company needs.

What is a rapid application development model in software engineering?

Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a development strategy that puts an emphasis on quick feedback and rapid prototyping over lengthy development and testing cycles. 

Rapid application development enables developers to swiftly iterate and update software without having to start from scratch each time. This ensures that the final product is more quality-focused and meets the needs of the end consumers.

Rapid Application Development model

What is so rad about RAD?

Rapid Application Development (RAD) is to Agile as the Walkman CD Player is to MP3. This software development model was revolutionary at the time and served as the starting point for a wave of innovation. The audio file is now widely used, and Agile is available for all software projects. How did we get here, then?

Some problems arising from waterfall model

The Waterfall development methodology has its roots in traditional engineering. It entails carefully thought out, sequential actions that are completed. This sequential progression has a purpose. 

But in the case of application development, you’ve probably seen how it frequently results in projects going over budget and schedule.

A new approach was required in the early 1990s due to the rapidly changing world of digital products. The phrase was initially coined by well-known IT engineer James Martin in his 1991 book of the same name:

“Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a development lifecycle designed to give much faster development and higher-quality results than those achieved with the traditional lifecycle. It is designed to take the maximum advantage of powerful development software that has evolved recently.” 

These ‘Agile ideals’ were not brand-new. However, the focus on adaptive and incremental software development methodologies helped to spread this style of thinking.

4 phases of rapid application development methodology

The RAD method consists of 4 stages:

Requirements Planning

Also known as the Concept Definition Stage, this is where stakeholders meet to define the business functions and determine the system’s scope. Although this planning phase is quick and emphasizes prototype iterations as having a higher priority, it is crucial to the project’s eventual success.

User Design

Also known as the Functional Design Stage. At this stage, developers work quickly to produce prototypes with a variety of features and functions rather than adhering to a strict set of specifications. The stakeholders are then given these prototypes, and determine what they like and don’t. These prototypes are frequently quickly created to function in order to highlight only the most important system components. 

Construction

Also known as the Development Stage, this is an iterative process of programming and system testing. Throughout this phase, stakeholders provide feedback, recommending adjustments, modifications, or fresh concepts to address issues as they arise. 

Implementation

Also known as the deployment stage, this involves the deployment of the application system, data conversion, and final user testing and training.

Rapid application development: Advantages and Disadvantages

 

Advantages of RAD Model

Disadvantages of RAD Model

✅ Flexible and responsive to change  ⭕ Require strong team collaboration
✅ Promote customer’s feedback ⭕ Require highly skilled developers and designers
✅ Quick and constant user’s feedback  ⭕ Only used for modularized systems 
✅ Reduced development time ⭕ Potential reduced scalability
✅ More productivity with fewer people ⭕ Requires a high level of commitment from all stakeholders.
✅ Integration is not a problem due to early system integration ⭕ Only suitable for projects with short development time

When to use RAD Methodology?

  • When you need the project to be done quickly (in 2-3 months), of course.
  • When the requirements are clear
  • When the user can be involved throughout the life cycle
  • When technical risk is less
  • When there is a necessity to create a system that can be modularized in 2-3 months of time
  • When you have a large budget to use automatic code generating tools

Conclusion

In order to fulfill the current requirements of the software business, rapid application development—the creation of higher-quality, more cost-effective software in a shorter amount of time—has become essential.  The difficulties of more, better, and faster are overcome. It offers a framework as well as practical tools for successful, quick software development. 

Bùi Xuân Hiền
Bùi Xuân Hiền

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