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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Spiral Model

History :
The spiral model was defined by Barry Boehm in his 1988 article A Spiral Model of
Software Development and Enhancement. This model was not the first model to discuss iterative development, but it was the first model to explain why the iteration matters. As originally envisioned, the iterations were typically 6 months to 2 years long. Each phase starts with a design goal and ends with the client (who may be internal) reviewing the progress thus far. Analysis and engineering efforts are applied at each phase of the project, with an eye toward the end goal of the project.

The Spiral Model :
The spiral model, also known as the spiral lifecycle model, is a systems development method (SDM) used in
information technology (IT). This model of development combines the features of the prototyping model and the waterfall model. The spiral model is intended for large, expensive, and complicated projects.
The steps in the spiral model can be generalized as follows:
1. The new system requirements are defined in as much detail as possible. This usually involves interviewing a number of users representing all the external or internal users and other aspects of the existing system.
2. A preliminary design is created for the new system.
3. A first prototype of the new system is constructed from the preliminary design. This is usually a scaled-down system, and represents an approximation of the characteristics of the final product.
4. A second prototype is evolved by a fourfold procedure: (1) evaluating the first prototype in terms of its strengths, weaknesses, and risks; (2) defining the requirements of the second prototype; (3) planning and designing the second prototype; (4) constructing and testing the second prototype.
5. At the customer's option, the entire project can be aborted if the risk is deemed too great. Risk factors might involve development cost overruns, operating-cost miscalculation, or any other factor that could, in the customer's judgment, result in a less-than-satisfactory final product.
6. The existing prototype is evaluated in the same manner as was the previous prototype, and, if necessary, another prototype is developed from it according to the fourfold procedure outlined above.
7. The preceding steps are iterated until the customer is satisfied that the refined prototype represents the final product desired.
8. The final system is constructed, based on the refined prototype.
9. The final system is thoroughly evaluated and tested. Routine maintenance is carried out on a continuing basis to prevent large-scale failures and to minimize downtime.


Applications :
For a typical shrink-wrap application, the spiral model might mean that you have a rough-cut of user elements (without the polished / pretty graphics) as an operable application, add features in phases, and, at some point, add the final graphics. The spiral model is used most often in large projects. For smaller projects, the concept of agile software development is becoming a viable alternative. The
US military has adopted the spiral model for its Future Combat Systems program.

Advantages :

1. Estimates (i.e. budget, schedule, etc.) become more realistic as
work progresses, because important issues are discovered earlier.
2. It is more able to cope with the (nearly inevitable) changes that
software development generally entails.
3. Software engineers (who can get restless with protracted design processes) can get their hands in and start working on a project earlier.


Disadvantages :

1. Highly customized limiting re-usability
2. Applied differently for each
application
3. Risk of not meeting budget or schedule
4. Risk of not meeting budget or schedule


WaterFall Model

WaterFall Model :
Waterfall approach was first Process Model to be introduced and followed widely in Software Engineering to ensure success of the project. In "The Waterfall" approach, the whole process of software development is divided into separate process phases. The phases in Waterfall model are: Requirement Specifications phase, Software Design, Implementation and Testing & Maintenance. All these phases are cascaded to each other so that second phase is started as and when defined set of goals are achieved for first phase and it is signed off, so the name "Waterfall Model". All the methods and processes undertaken in Waterfall Model are more visible


The stages of "The Waterfall Model" are:

Requirement Analysis & Definition:
All possible requirements of the system to be developed are captured in this phase. Requirements are set of functionalities and constraints that the end-user (who will be using the system) expects from the system. The requirements are gathered from the end-user by consultation, these requirements are analyzed for their validity and the possibility of incorporating the requirements in the system to be development is also studied. Finally, a Requirement Specification document is created which serves the purpose of guideline for the next phase of the model.

System & Software Design:
Before a starting for actual coding, it is highly important to understand what we are going to create and what it should look like? The requirement specifications from first phase are studied in this phase and system design is prepared. System Design helps in specifying hardware and system requirements and also helps in defining overall system architecture. The system design specifications serve as input for the next phase of the model.

Implementation & Unit Testing:
On receiving system design documents, the
work is divided in modules/units and actual coding is started. The system is first developed in small programs called units, which are integrated in the next phase. Each unit is developed and tested for its functionality; this is referred to as Unit Testing. Unit testing mainly verifies if the modules/units meet their specifications.

Integration & System Testing:
As specified above, the system is first divided in units which are developed and tested for their functionalities. These units are integrated into a complete system during Integration phase and tested to check if all modules/units coordinate between each other and the system as a whole behaves as per the specifications. After successfully testing the
software, it is delivered to the customer.

Operations & Maintenance:
This phase of "The Waterfall Model" is virtually never ending phase (Very long). Generally, problems with the system developed (which are not found during the development life cycle) come up after its practical use starts, so the issues related to the system are solved after deployment of the system. Not all the problems come in picture directly but they arise time to time and needs to be solved; hence this process is referred as Maintenance.