Rapid Application Development (RAD)
Computer Assisted Software Engineering (CASE) tools and prototyping are used for describing processes to increase the pace at which a software is developed. If a company is developing a graphical interface for a gaming software, rapid software development tools would facilitate rapid development of codes by integrating all the basic parameters in the prototype tools. A developer would simply use the tools instead of writing a separate section of codes for that procedure. Sometimes, some features of a program are compromised in order to generate the end product in less time. In simple words, the raw data of a firm is entered into this application, which processes it into finished and structured business and data models as software and its prototypes. The result is in accordance with the user's requirements.
An astounding 65% of the budget of large firms is spent on maintenance and upgrading its operating systems. These were designed only some time ago, but given the nature of alterations and their frequencies, many software require changes and transitions. Quite often, the end users can satisfactorily meet all their requirements even without some essential components of a software. It is the task of a software developing team to identify all such potential areas of operation which can be left out or encapsulated within a headline leader, to save the time, effort, and cost. In some other cases, the business which has ordered the software can negotiate on certain parts which can be done away with, before the software is fully developed. It may again save valuable cost and time before implementing the software.
RAD is a combination of entities like a well-defined methodology, a dedicated and trained staff, proper and efficient management practices, which uses both efficient manual and computer tools. The entire system of operation can be summarized as a software development mechanism providing higher quality in less time, using:
- Software essentials restructuring
- Prototyping and verification designs
- Integrating all changes in the current model
- Minimizing the effort of reviewing, testing, and other such steps
Advantages of Using RAD
There are many advantages of using RAD, and it can solve many concerns of the user as well as the developer.
- Conventional software development methods take, on an average, almost 20% more time than the RAD procedure. Using RAD can enable quicker visualization of the end-design, and hence, allow rapid software testing and rectifying steps. The customer is able to have a faster look at the design to add valuable inputs, in order to make the design more user-friendly.
- The current competitive scenario demands frequently upgraded software in order to effectively satisfy customers' requirements. RAD enables a faster and updated version to reach the end user, by systematically eliminating redundant steps or using the prototype methods.
- Cost overruns and meeting the time constraints are another advantage, although not a big consideration in high-end uses.
- RAD makes the development process to be a more reliable one by facilitating a scope for the customer to actively provide inputs and feedback in the development process. This may also prove feasible from the point of view of a developer.
- It protects the current project from being subjected to variations in the market.
Rapid Application Development is an efficient methodology which can assist faster software development, and at the same time ensure maximum quality of the project as a whole.