What Are The Stages of Enterprise Software Development?

Enterprise software development is the creation of software for use by an organization. Each software in a business contributes to the overall goal of the enterprise. Software developers such as brights.io/projects/enterprise-software can help businesses design software that meets their requirements such as interconnectivity, performance, scalability, security, among other needs. The following are the stages of enterprise software development to follow to create software that serves organizations’ needs.

Requirements gathering

Requirements gathering is the first and most important stage of enterprise development. Developers need to understand and document the aim or scope of the project in detail and determine if it is implementable. The process of gathering requirements involves communication between stakeholders, users, and the project team. It involves carrying out customer surveys to identify stakeholder requirements, building some use cases to describe all the actions a user will undertake in the new software and coming up with prototypes of the end product. Cost estimates are also part of the requirements gathering process.

Design

Design involves determining additional features that will make the system work better. It involves risk analysis, where developers document potential threats and vulnerabilities that may arise by using the software. Developers also need to determine functional and non-functional requirements. Functional requirements include a description of interface requirements such as data entry fields, time zone, and how the website will flow, i.e. what appears on the screen first when a user clicks. Having user error and monitoring tools is also a part of the design process. Non-functional requirements include scalability, resource constraints such as bandwidth and disk space, and the performance and speed of response.

Coding or developing software

Coding is the next step in the software development life cycle. Actual coding and unit testing at each stage is vital, to ensure the process is unfolding well. Business analysts monitor each stage and make necessary adjustments to ensure the final product is excellent. Coding is the longest phase of the enterprise development cycle.

Depending on the size of the software development project to be carried out, there are two main methods that a designer can use to develop software. One of these is the waterfall method. This method is suitable for large projects. The waterfall method uses defined structures and pre-planned requirements to achieve the end goal. The developer will complete a phase of development before embarking on the next.

The second method is the agile method whose requirements, design, and coding processes are very flexible and iterative. It is suitable for shorter projects. Here, software development happens in cycles, each of which quickly delivers a working product. It is the preferable method of software development as it enables the adding of features at any stage in the project. The agile model, however, depends on increased customer interaction. The method chosen will also depend on the expertise of the software developers.

Testing

This stage involves preparing test plans and carrying out the actual testing of the final product. The developer moves the application to a test environment where different tests take place. These tests are integration testing, system testing, and user acceptance testing.

Integration testing involves combining and testing some parts of the enterprise software as a group to determine any faults in the interaction. System testing involves an examination of the system as a whole, as to whether it meets its functional and non-functional requirements. The last bit in testing the software involves user testing. Developers present the final product to the consumer to determine if it meets their expectations. In case of defects, the system is modified accordingly either in the analysis, design, or coding stage.

Implementation of the software

Implementation is the integration of software into an organization’s workflow. The bigger the software development project is, the harder it will be to deploy. Deployment requires training of staff and end-users. The implementation can be done gradually in stages, for example, a single branch at a time for a business with several branches. It can also be a full implementation that will take place in the entire company at once.

Continuous maintenance and improvement

It is crucial to maintain software, check for and fix bugs regularly. A tool such as Airbrake is powerful in bug capturing, as it quickly gives bug notifications, allowing timely fixing. Designers should also check for ways to improve the software and add or develop new features. Preparing user and technical documentation is also part of the maintenance process. There should not be a one size fits all kind of training. Training should suit particular stakeholders.

When a software developer follows the software development life cycle (SDLF), they will deliver software that is customized to the enterprise and the end-user. The SDLF allows a developer to develop clear goals and complete a project within a specified time and budget.

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