First proposed by IBM in the 1980s, the Rapid Application Development model is one of the popular SDLC models. Also known as the RAD model, the software development model emphasizes speed and flexibility over detailed initial planning.
The RAD model has a very short development time. In general, projects developed with the RAD Model have a delivery time of 60 to 90 days.
One of the most important aspects of the rapid application development model is its support for powerful development tools such as C ++, Java, Visual Basic, and XML, as well as the techniques it provides.
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What is RAD?
Rapid application development (RAD) is a development model that prioritizes rapid prototyping and rapid feedback during extended development and testing cycles. With fast application development, developers can make iterations and software updates faster without having to start a development program from scratch every time.
Rapid Application Development (RAD) was created in the 1980’s, so this is definitely not new. But unlike the waterfall model, it is not unique. This is an evolution of the philosophy of sustainable development according to the needs of a particular moment.
What is the RAD model?
Any software development project that can be divided into smaller modules that can be independently assigned to different teams can be developed using the RAD Model. All these different modules are finally combined to get the final product.
The development of each software development project module using the RAD model follows the basic steps of the cascade model. This includes analysis, design, coding, testing, implementation and maintenance.
The rapid application development model prioritizes rapid prototyping and rapid feedback of extended testing and development cycles.
RAD developers are allowed to make several iterations and updates of the developing project without always starting the development program from scratch.
RAD began when software developers began to realize that the traditional cascading model was not very effective. The cascade model is not capable of hosting software development projects with evolving requirements.
The main disadvantage of the cascade model is that once the software development process reaches the testing stage, it is almost impossible to change the basic functionality and features offered by the developed software.
Although the RAD model appeared in the 1980s, it has continued to evolve ever since. This is in stark contrast to the pattern of the waterfall, which is the same as it was today.
The stages of the RAD model
The RAD Model process involves building a prototype and then sending it to the customer for feedback. This feedback is then taken over and the changes made to the prototype before being sent back to the customer.
This process is repeated until the validation is performed by the client. After that, the SRS document was developed and the project was completed. The final product is then built around this final design.
There are 4 distinct phases of the rapid application development model. These are requirements planning, user description, construction and transfer. Each is described as follows:
1. Requirements planning
This is the first phase of the rapid application development model. This involves purchasing the requirements for a software project under development. This is what sets the RAD model apart from other software development models.
Unlike other software development models, the first phase of the RAD model requires broad requirements. This broad nature of the requirements allows for the provision of project-specific requirements at various points in the development cycle.
Various techniques are used to acquire the requirements, including brainstorming, FAST (Facilitated Application Development Technique), form analysis, task analysis and user scenarios.
The requirements planning phase also includes a fully structured plan. Explain:
- Important dates
- Method of obtaining important data
- Critical data processing procedures to form the final model
2. User description (User description / User design)
The second phase of the rapid application development model is user description. This involves taking user feedback and then building more prototype projects under development using developer tools.
Instead of working with a strict set of requirements, RAD developers create a series of prototypes with different features and functions. All these prototypes are then reviewed by the customer to decide what to throw away.
The user description phase includes reviewing and validating the data collected in the first phase. This phase also includes identifying and explaining the attributes of the dataset.
3. Constructions (Constructions)
The construction stage includes the improvement of the prototype developed in the previous stage. It also includes the use of powerful automated tools to turn process and data models into final operational products.
All the improvements and changes collected have been applied in this third phase of the RAD Model. This phase provides feedback on what is good, what is bad, what is kept and what should be deleted.
The feedback given in the construction phase is not limited to functionality, but also includes aesthetics, interfaces, etc. The prototype is then continued considering all the feedback received.
Prototyping and feedback continues until the final product that meets the customer’s requirements is developed in the most appropriate way.
The final phase includes the completion of the aesthetics, features, functions, interfaces and everything else related to the software project. Interfaces between different independent modules require proper testing. This is done in the transition phase.
Powerful automatic tools are used to do the above. This is followed by acceptance testing by the customer. Ensuring the desired level of maintenance, stability and use of the developed software is mandatory before shipping the final product to the customer.
RAD vs. other software development models
The rapid application development model is very different from other software development models. The RAD model focuses on speed, while most other software development models focus on delivering a functional product to the customer.
Compared to other software development methodologies, the RAD team consists of fewer members. Therefore, communication becomes clear and fast. Because the RAD model targets speed, development time is shorter compared to other models.
Most software development models have user input only at the beginning and end of the development cycle. However, the RAD model keeps the customer engaged throughout the software development process.
Advantages of RAD
- Because fewer developers are needed, the total cost of the project is much lower
- Customer feedback is available in the early stages
- Shorter iteration time makes it easier to cope with frequent changes to requirements
- It is easy to measure the progress and progress of a software project in different stages
- The total development time of the software project is significantly reduced due to the use of reusable components
- The use of powerful development tools ensures better product quality
Disadvantages of RAD
- The absence of reusable components increases the likelihood of project failure
- Customer involvement is mandatory throughout the life cycle
- More complicated to manage compared to other software development models
- Projects that are not capable of modularization cannot be developed using this software development model
- The cost of using powerful automated tools and techniques can exceed the project budget for smaller projects. Therefore, the software development model is not suitable for small-scale projects
- Team leaders need to work well with developers as well as customers to meet deadlines
- The use of effective and powerful tools is necessary for highly qualified professionals
So what is RAD? Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a methodology that focuses on rapid application development through frequent iterations and continuous feedback.
Rapid Application Development is one of the best software development models available today. Due to its constantly evolving nature, it is able to last a long time.
Like other SDLC models, the RAD model has its own advantages and disadvantages. Highlighting all the requirements of a software development project allows you to select the best SDLC approach. However, that’s where the RAD model really shines.
You don’t have to be completely sure of all your needs when you start with the RAD model. Software development methodologies help to identify requirements in addition to the software development process.
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