Rapid Application Development (RAD)

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Key points

  • The seven stages of software development is a detailed but slow process. For small or fast-moving projects, an alternative method is needed.
  • Rapid Application Development (RAD) involves user interaction from the first stage, in order to speed up the process of creating the right software.
  • RAD uses tools that allow programmers to develop interfaces and prototypes very quickly.
  • There are four stages in RAD:
    • Requirements planning - the users and the programming team will discuss the requirements of the software together. This will not always be formed into a legal document at this stage but a plan will be put together.
    • User design - prototypes of the interfaces are made to test out ideas and discuss the implications of different approaches. This is an interactive process with discussion between the user and the programming team.
    • Construction - code is implemented and tested, while users respond to each version with changes and suggestions. The process will continue switching between user design (prototyping) and construction (coding)
    • Cutover - the software is rolled out as a live system, but testing and changes are ongoing.

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