Rapid Application Development is an agile software development platform that prioritizes prototype building and taking customer feedback before building the final product. It focuses on delivering bigger projects by dividing them into a series of smaller projects. Unlike traditional methodologies, it does not follow strict waterfall model development procedures.
Let us understand the steps involved in a Rapid Development model to understand how it works differently than other software development methodology:
- Planning project’s scope and requirements: In the initial stage, proper planning regarding the scope of the project and the requirements of the applications is carried out. This serves as a roadmap for the future stages wherein prototypes of the app must be designed and tested.
- User Design: The second stage involves developing the user design with prototype iterations. This is done by gathering user feedback. Many times, developers and clients work in collaboration to ensure that the client’s expectations are met throughout the designing stage. Any glitches or issues are worked out during the iterative processes. This is an ongoing process, which is repeated several times before the final prototype is ready.
- Rapid Construction: This is the stage where the design gets converted into an actual working model. It involves application development, coding, solving integration issues and testing of the final working model. The whole development team consisting of developers, programmers, coders, and testers works together in this stage to make sure that the outcomes are meeting the user’s requirements. This stage is also repeated as often as needed to meet the needs of the project by incorporating new changes.
- App launch: This is the last stage wherein all the recommended changes from the previous stage are incorporated in the app and the final product is launched with a constant lookout for any bugs or issues that need to be fixed.
It offers the following advantages over the traditional methodologies:
- Flexibility: It is highly adaptable and offers high flexibility as developers can adjust anytime during the development process without having to restart it every time the client demands some changes.
- Allows code reuse: Due to code reuse, there are fewer requirements for manual coding. Less coding implies fewer coding errors, which in turn saves valuable time and effort.
- Cross-Platform compatibility: RAD model lets you develop apps that could be used across multiple platforms. This is an important feature given the fact that business users in today’s time work on several digital platforms.
- Risk management: It encourages customer feedback as the development team first works on the prototype. Once the prototype is ready, it is sent to users for feedback. Important feedback is taken into consideration for the next prototype. After implementing all the required functionalities, the final product is built. Thus, it helps in proper risk management.
- Fewer integration issues: RAD model includes integration early in the development process thus reducing a lot of integration issues. Integration helps in verifying that all the software components are properly executed and there is a proper interface between them.
- Easy to build: With pre-designed templates and prototype modeling, it is quite easier to build apps with the RAD model requiring comparatively fewer developers to work together on the same app.
- Increased customer satisfaction: An app that runs smoothly on all platforms and built after taking into consideration user feedback is more likely to provide a higher level of satisfaction to customers.
RAD model proves as a strategic approach for different projects. All it demands is a little experienced team of developers and coders along with the right tools and software to effectively apply the methodology.