Software Development Process
A software development process or life cycle is a structure imposed on the development of a software product. There are several models for such processes, each describing approaches to a variety of tasks or activities that take place during the process.
More and more software development organizations implement process methodologies.
The Capability Maturity Model (CMM) is one of the leading models. Independent assessments can be used to grade organizations on how well they create software according to how they define and execute their processes.
There are dozens of others, with other popular ones being ISO 9000, ISO 15504, and Six Sigma.
Software Engineering processes are composed of many activities, notably the following:
Requirements Analysis: Extracting the requirements of a desired software product is the first task in creating it. While customers probably believe they know what the software is to do, it may require skill and experience in software engineering to recognize incomplete, ambiguous or contradictory requirements.
Specification: Specification is the task of precisely describing the software to be written, in a mathematically rigorous way. In practice, most successful specifications are written to understand and fine-tune applications that were already well-developed, although safety-critical software systems are often carefully specified prior to application development. Specifications are most important for external interfaces that must remain stable.
Software architecture: The architecture of a software system refers to an abstract representation of that system. Architecture is concerned with making sure the software system will meet the requirements of the product, as well as ensuring that future requirements can be addressed.
Implementation: Reducing a design to code may be the most obvious part of the software engineering job, but it is not necessarily the largest portion.
Testing: Testing of parts of software, especially where code by two different engineers must work together, falls to the software engineer.
Documentation: An important task is documenting the internal design of software for the purpose of future maintenance and enhancement.
Training and Support: A large percentage of software projects fail because the developers fail to realize that it doesn't matter how much time and planning a development team puts into creating software if nobody in an organization ends up using it. People are occasionally resistant to change and avoid venturing into an unfamiliar area, so as a part of the deployment phase, its very important to have training classes for the most enthusiastic software users (build excitement and confidence), shifting the training towards the neutral users intermixed with the avid supporters, and finally incorporate the rest of the organization into adopting the new software. Users will have lots of questions and software problems which leads to the next phase of software.
Maintenance: Maintaining and enhancing software to cope with newly discovered problems or new requirements can take far more time than the initial development of the software. Not only may it be necessary to add code that does not fit the original design but just determining how software works at some point after it is completed may require significant effort by a software engineer. About 60% of all software engineering work is maintenance, but this statistic can be misleading. A small part of that is fixing bugs. Most maintenance is extending systems to do new things, which in many ways can be considered new work.
A decades-long goal has been to find repeatable, predictable processes or methodologies that improve productivity and quality. Some try to systematize or formalize the seemingly unruly task of writing software. Others apply project management techniques to writing software. Without project management, software projects can easily be delivered late or over budget. With large numbers of software projects not meeting their expectations in terms of functionality, cost, or delivery schedule, effective project management is proving difficult.
The best-known and oldest process is the waterfall model, where developers follow these steps in order. They state requirements, analyze them, design a solution approach, architect a software framework for that solution, develop code, test, deploy, and maintain. After each step is finished, the process proceeds to the next step.
Iterative development prescribes the construction of initially small but ever larger portions of a software project to help all those involved to uncover important issues early before problems or faulty assumptions can lead to disaster. Iterative processes are preferred by commercial developers because it allows a potential of reaching the design goals of a customer who does not know how to define what he wants.
Agile software development processes are built on the foundation of iterative development. To that foundation they add a lighter, more people-centric viewpoint than traditional approaches. Agile processes use feedback, rather than planning, as their primary control mechanism. The feedback is driven by regular tests and releases of the evolving software.
Agile processes seem to be more efficient than older methodologies, using less programmer time to produce more functional, higher quality software, but have the drawback from a business perspective that they do not provide long-term planning capability. In essence, they say that they will provide the most bang for the buck, but won't say exactly when that bang will be.
Extreme Programming, XP, is the best-known agile process. In XP, the phases are carried out in extremely small (or "continuous") steps compared to the older, "batch" processes. The (intentionally incomplete) first pass through the steps might take a day or a week, rather than the months or years of each complete step in the Waterfall model. First, one writes automated tests, to provide concrete goals for development. Next is coding (by a pair of programmers), which is complete when all the tests pass, and the programmers can't think of any more tests that are needed. Design and architecture emerge out of refactoring, and come after coding. Design is done by the same people who do the coding. The incomplete but functional system is deployed or demonstrated for the users (at least one of which is on the development team). At this point, the practitioners start again on writing tests for the next most important part of the system.
While Iterative development approaches have their advantages, software architects are still faced with the challenge of creating a reliable foundation upon which to develop. Such a foundation often requires a fair amount of upfront analysis and prototyping to build a development model. The development model often relies upon specific design patterns and entity relationship diagrams (ERD). Without this upfront foundation, Iterative development can create long term challenges that are significant in terms of cost and quality.
Critics of iterative development approaches point out that these processes place what may be an unreasonable expectation upon the recipient of the software: that they must possess the skills and experience of a seasoned software developer. The approach can also be very expensive, akin to... "If you don't know what kind of house you want, let me build you one and see if you like it. If you don't, we'll tear it all down and start over." A large pile of building-materials, which are now scrap, can be the final result of such a lack of up-front discipline. The problem with this criticism is that the whole point of iterative programming is that you don't have to build the whole house before you get feedback from the recipient. Indeed, in a sense conventional programming places more of this burden on the recipient, as the requirements and planning phases take place entirely before the development begins, and testing only occurs after development is officially over.
The are many other methods to those listed above, and you can find out more by visiting the websites below.
Support for Software Development Processes
Select has been a major player in the development of iterative and incremental development processes over the last 20 years. Our tools therefore provide relevant facilities for those looking to use such processes.
To find out more about how Select Business Solutions can help you Contact Us today.
Web development is the process of developing websites or webpages hosted on the Internet or intranet. Think about your favorite website; whether it’s an e-commerce store, blog, social network, online video streaming service, or any other type of Internet application, it all had to be built by a web developer.
But what does that look like? The web development process can be divided into three main components: server-side coding, client-side coding and database technology.
Client-Side Coding When you are viewing or using a website, you are known as a ‘user’ or a ‘client.’ So web applications or computer programs executed by a user’s web browser are referred to as client-side scripts. That means the program requests any files it needs to run from the web server, and then runs within the client’s web browser.
Server-Side Coding In contrast to client-side scripts, server-side scripts are executed on the web server whenever a user requests a document or service. The server then produces the document, usually in the form of HTML, which can be read by the client’s browser.
The document sent to the browser may often contain client-side scripts. ASP.NET, PHP, Java, ColdFusion, Perl, Python, and Ruby are examples of languages used for server-side coding.
Database Technology For any website to function on the Internet, it must be hosted within a database on a webserver. The database contains all the files required for a website and its applications to function. Websites typically use some form of a relational database management system (RDBMS); the leading RDBMS options are Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Apache, and IBM. Open-source RDBMS are also very popular, led by MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MariaDB.
And that’s it! You now have a solid understanding of the basics of web development. Next up in the Web Development 101 series, we’ll answer the logical follow-up question: what is a web developer?
Any web development topics you’d like to learn about? Let us know in the comments section below, and we’ll make sure to address them!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Services
There are a variety of search engine optimization services which offer solutions for a variety of ranking issues, and deficiencies. Depending on your goals, and needs one, or a combination, of the below services may be right for your website.
Website SEO Audit
A search engine optimization audit can come in a varying levels of detail and complexity. A simple website audit can be as short as a few pages long, and would address glaring on-page issues such as missing titles, and lack of content. On the other hand other end of the spectrum, a comprehensive website SEO audit will be comprised of dozens of pages (for most larger sites it will be over one hundred pages) and address even the tiniest of website elements which may potentially be detrimental to the ranking-ability of a website.
On-page or on-site search engine optimization refers to SEO techniques which are designed to implement the problems and potential issues that an SEO audit uncovers. This is something which should always be part of all good SEO packages. On-page SEO addresses a variety of fundamental elements (as they relate to SEO) such as page titles, headings, content and content organization, and internal link structure.
As with a website SEO audit, there are basic, as well as comprehensive services when it comes to on-page search engine optimization. At the most basic level, an on-page optimization campaign can be a one-time project which includes recommendations developed through an audit, and the implementation thereof. This type of on-page optimization would generally target the home page and a few other important pages on the website. More comprehensive on-page search engine optimization campaigns will use the findings of a highly detailed website SEO audit, and monitor results to guide ongoing changes to the on-page optimization.
Link Development (Link Building)
Link development is one of the most controversial and often talked (written) about topics of the search engine optimization industry. Since backlinks are the most vital component of any search engine optimization campaign, and at the same time the most time consuming and consequently most expensive (assuming they are good quality links and not just random directory submissions and blog comment spam) part, inevitably, there are many service providers who offer inexpensive link building services in order to attract and impress potential clients. Such schemes include large volumes of directory submissions (e.g., 200 directory submissions per month), worthless blog and forum comment spam (e.g., 100 blog links per month), or article writing and submissions which result in extremely poor quality content published on equally low-quality article directories which contribute in no positive way to ranking improvements. So if someone is quoting you a $500 per month search engine optimization services which includes large volumes of directory submissions, blog posts, articles, blog/forum comments and so on, all you will be doing is throwing your money away. This is not to say that you can't get link-work for $500 per month; however, it won't be for a large volume of links.
Good quality link development work focuses on quality rather than quantity. A well researched and relevant, good quality link is worth many times more than hundreds of free directory submissions.
The fundamentals of link building are, have always been and always will be, based on good quality (i.e., useful, interesting, entertaining, educational) content. Because if there is no good content on your site that people can link to, it will be very difficult to convince them to do so.
SEO Content Writing
SEO content writing is somewhat of a misnomer--it really should be replaced with high quality and well researched content writing. The term "SEO content writing" implies that there is a secret writing formula which turns plain everyday text into something magical that gets the attention of the search engines--this could not be further from the truth.
If you are looking for content writing services which will help your website attain higher rankings, what you are really looking for is high quality and well written content, and not SEO content. SEO content is what you would get from a writing sweatshop or someone who cannot afford to write good content because they are only charging you $12 per "article".
SEO content writing as a service can be useful, if shortcuts are not taken, and the content is not expected to perform magic. Well written, interesting and useful content will inevitably be found, and get attention on its own merits; however, it also helps lay the foundation for a successful link development campaign.
Code optimization is a service you can expect at the highest levels of search engine optimization services, as it involves an overhaul of your website HTML. The optimization of your HTML can impact search engine rankings in two ways. First, it can help alleviate code-clutter, and present your content in an easy-to-understand (for machines, that is, search engine algorithms) format. Second, it can help reduce the load-time of your website pages, so that search engine spiders don't have to wait around while your page loads (because it's too long, or has too many images, etc).
A comprehensive search engine optimization campaign will have all of the above elements, but it will also incorporate other important services such as keyword research, ranking reports, traffic reports, and conversion tracking.
MOBILE APP DEVELOPMENT
Mobile apps are an integral part of modern business and consumer interactions. Developing mobile apps for different platforms (iOS, Android, etc.) can expand your reach and provide value to clients looking to engage their customers on mobile devices.
We ensure your infrastructure can handle increased usage as your customer base grows.
Determine competetive and sustainable pricing plans taht align with the value your SaaS offers.
We provide excellent customer support to maintain customer satisfication and retention.
Address data security and privacy concerns to gain the trust of your clients.
User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI)
We understand that user experience plays a significant roll in customer satisfication and retention. Ensure your software and apps have intuitive UI/UX designs that make them user-friendly and easy to navigate with our 19 years of experience!
Make that everlasting first impression with a vibrant synopsis of your work.
A Corporate Identity is not just a Logo. It is the image conjured up by your customer's mind when you mention it. It is the visual and sensory personification of your brand. The Corporate identity should thus convey to the conscious and sub-conscious mind, the ethos that your Brand stands for.
That's where the perpetual cues come in. These are the salient features of your brand. They define it. Aggressive, Customer friendly, Environment Friendly, Research driven, Warm, Trust worthy, are just few example traits that could be conveyed by your brand's identity.
The Corporate Identity is not one thing. To build a popular and likable and most importantly a correct perception of your brand's images, a clutch of elements are at play. The most significant ones are your company's
- Logo and Typeface
- Tag Line (or Punch Line)
- Stationary items like Envelop and Invoices
- Visiting card
- Letter Head (including PDF version)
- PowerPoint Template
- And even the Telephone Hold Tone
- And Caller Tunes!
You will also want the Point-Of-Purchase (POP) material; POP and Office colors and interior to play in Sync to convey your brand's unique Corporate Identity.
Fortunately, the process of developing an exciting Corporate Identity is not rocket science. At Smartech we have experts who quickly interpret your brand's perpetual cues and guide you towards a process to develop a Corporate Identity for your Brand. You may choose some elements of the package (say Logo and Stationary), or choose all the elements, but you'll love what you ultimately serve to your customers. Designed and Conceptualized by Smartech.
Corporate Identity Development Process
The process we go through with our clients is as unique as everything else we do. It consists of 4 steps:
Information Architecture Analysis
Our analysts discuss with your department heads the key differentiators of your business. We talk about the vision of the company, our intended audience, and the information you would like to present. All of the input is then condensed into a formal map for easy understanding by our production designers.
In this brainstorming session our Design Director will discuss with you the overall look and feel of your company's corporate identity. If we are creating a new brand, we cover logos, colors, fonts and other layout. Designing for multimedia projects revolves more around the storyboard for the movie's sequence of events.
Using the input from the Design Guidelines meeting, our designers create your unique image. The first draft is then returned to you by way of formal presentations made to senior management as well as corporate communications or marketing team(s). Perceived products are thereafter crystallized.
Production & Quality Control
Once we have got our ideas and basic elements of building the Corporate Identity right, we create Content, Catalogs, Web Site, and Presentations and finally, draw up an advertising campaign.