An application, in simple terms is a specific solution that helps deal with specific problems. This solution is created with an operating system in mind and can be a combination of platforms, including hardware. Normally, the application development process is undertaken when a developer or a company feels there is a need for a specific type of solution or have identified a niche market for the same. Even though this lies in the realm of software engineering, application development is also subject to the laws of business to the effect that it has to go through phases and has to be managed.
Phases of app development
Broadly and generally speaking, the development process of any application can be divided into the following:
- Market or situation analysis
- Design and conceptualization
- Development of the applicationa
- Testing and validation
- Production and go-to-market
Analysis stage will involve gathering of all relevant information on the market for the app, the need for the same and whether it is going to do anything different from the already-existing apps. This will give the developer concrete information and a “scope of services” to go into the design stage. The design and conceptualization stage will entail the developer to create design documents and use the same to create codes and test the same. This is an iterative process. The development phase will see the advent of formal system tests and user tests. This is essential because it will give the application a chance to function in the “real world” and result in revisions, if any. Testing and validation will again see a series of tests being performed to ensure that the application does what it is supposed to do! After all these stages, comes the production stage where the application is manufactured for public consumption and put into the marketplace.
Application Lifecycle management
Once an application is released into the market, it has to be managed and this is a continuous process. By ensuring that the app development process and lifecycle management is carried out smoothly, a developer or developer company can increase productivity of the application. There is also the very important need to ensure that there have been no copyright infringements and protect against infringements from others as well. Competition analysis is also an important aspect of application development. Retaining customer loyalty is all about revamping the application to take advantage of changing technologies. The infrastructure for an application to function is also evolving and with lifecycle management, a developer can keep tabs on this changing infrastructure and cater for the same accordingly.
When all these aspects are kept in mind then the developer would have met user expectations in a more effective manner and can maximize all theinvestment of time and effort and money that has gone into developing the application.
Application developmentand lifecycle management can also help cut down the go- to – market time which results in greater productivity and cost effectiveness. Applications can also be developed in keeping with new business initiatives and projects when there is an effective communication channel between the IT guys and the business guys!
James J is a writer and blogger with 5 years experience.