Rapid Application
Development?

Rapid-application development, also called rapid-application building, is both
a general term for adaptive software development approaches, and the name for James Martin's method of rapid development.

How does it work?

Basically, RAD follows 4 main phases –

The planning phase of this methodology is relatively compressed as compared to other methodologies. Nevertheless, this is a critical step for the ultimate success of the project. In this this phase, developers, users and other team members connect to determine the goals and expectations for the project. They also discuss the current and potential challenges that may need to be addressed during development.It is very important at this stage that everyone involved in the project has the opportunity to evaluate the goals and expectations and make required suggestions. This avoids expensive change orders and miscommunication.

This is the main course of the methodology and what sets it apart from other project manage strategies. Once the scope of the project is chalked out, it’s time to dive into development. The user design is built through various prototype iterations.During this, users/clients join forces with the developers to ensure that their requirements are being met at every step in the design process. It’s practically customize software development where the developer designs a prototype, the user tests it, and then they collaborate on what worked and what didn’t. Ultimately, both the developers and the clients work together to make sure that there is no gap for something to slip through the cracks.

In this phase, the prototypes and beta systems designed in the previous phase are converted into working models. Since majority of the glitches and changes were addressed during the iterative design phase, it becomes easier and quicker for developers to construct the final working model. Nonetheless, the client can still give input anytime during the process and suggest modifications, adjustments, or even new ideas that can solve problems as they arise. The product is worked upon by developers, programmers, coders and testers until the final product meets the client’s expectations and objectives.

The finished product is implemented and goes for launch in this phase. During this stage all the final changes are made, data conversion, testing, and changeover to the new system is done. User training is also imparted during this phase.

This is the implementation phase where the finished product goes to launch. It includes data conversion, testing, and changeover to the new system, as well as user training. All final changes are made while the coders and clients continue to look for bugs in the system.

What is Rapid Application Development?

Rapid Application Development is a type of Agile software development model that came into existence in 1980s. Its invention was a direct result of the drawbacks of regressive traditional development models such as the Waterfall Software Development Model. One of the major flaw in waterfall model was that, once the software enters the testing phase it becomes very difficult to alter its core functions and features. Ultimately, you end up with a software that may or may not fit your evolving requirements. RAD was the first development model to challenge this.
RAD is a progressive development model that gives more importance to rapid prototyping and speedy feedback over a lengthy development and testing cycle. This model allows developers to make multiple iterations and updates to a software quickly, without the need to restart a development schedule from scratch every time. The overall concept behind this methodology is to treat software projects like clay, rather than steel. Today, the use of RAD is quickly becoming a necessity, thanks to the volatile market conditions and competitive marketplace.
In a nutshell, RAD enables low-code rapid application development through which business can roll-out new applications faster.
As you may have realized, even though the model was discovered long back, it holds a significant relevance in today’s competitive marketplace where technology is changing at a much faster speed than ever!
RAD is the call of the hour for digital transformation in 2018.

Pros of Rapid Application Development

While there are several benefits of using the Rapid Application Development method, we’ve highlighted a handful of the most critical ones, when considering whether RAD is the right choice for your next project.
Rapid, Constant User Feedback: There is nothing more valuable for a developer than obtaining relevant user feedback during software development. The RAD method makes way for almost continual feedback via recurrent iterations and prototype releases, giving the entire team invaluable evaluation and criticism at the right time.
Quantifiable Progress: Due to frequent iterations, components and prototypes being released, the progress of the overall projects as well as the independent components can be measured easily. Adjustments can be made wherever required to maintain schedules and budget.
Segregation of Software Components:
Like in object-oriented software design practices in which components are quarantined from one another, RAD has an advantageous impact by compelling the designers and developers to create components that are independently functional. In RAD, each element within the software is compartmentalized and therefore easily modified autonomously as the needs of the software evolve.
Simple Adaptability:
During development in RAD, software is in a malleable form. That is, code can be changed to dramatically alter the entire software system or generate new components. The development team should take advantage of this flexibility early, by iterating and prototyping potential concepts or ideas, to eventually belt out immaculate software.
Quickly Generate Productive Code: A large percentage of active software developers are rapidly upgrading skillsets and moving into multidisciplinary roles such as Full-stack developers. RAD helps such developer teams to quickly produce prototypes and work on code to demonstrate examples that may otherwise take weeks or months to see the light of day.

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