Rapid Application Development, also known as RAD, is a development methodology that allows for quick development with excellent flexibility. RAD is an alternative to the conventional SDLC model of development. With RAD, the development team (us) can interact with the user base (you) to create prototypes of the software system, adjusting them and refining them until they are perfect for the users before moving to the major development and implementation stages.
Stage One – Requirements & Planning
This phase is the formative stage of the development process. Our team and yours will meet to discuss needs, scope, systems and requirements, and formulate a plan for action. This phase includes contract definition and signing, generally the final part before moving on to the Prototype phase.
Stage Two – Prototyping
Prototyping is the most intensive step in the development process. As with in the Requirements & Planning phase, we work closely with you in designing your system and its processes. We will develop and design the basic processes of the system, refining and tweaking the features of the system in accordance with your feedback.
This phase benefits from FileMaker’s combined user interface design and back-end structure greatly. Instead of a long, laborious process where we design, then develop, then submit for feedback, then refine the system piece by piece, we can quickly design as we develop, refining small pieces and large features swiftly.
At the end of this phase the structure for the system and the user interfaces and processes will be built out. Most of the basic error checking and testing will be complete at the end of this stage, but we still devote time to stress test the system.
Stage Three – Testing
Once the system has been built out, we test the system to make sure there aren’t any ways for your users to crash the system or access restricted areas. We do a limited deployment so that your users can check and test the system as well. As needed, we will develop any processes to insure the system performs correctly all of the time.
This process generally is the last stage of actual development; once approved, we will move to the Cutover Phase.
Stage Four – Cutover
Cutover is the final phase in software development. Like the Requirements & Planning phase, little actual development occurs at this stage. During this phase we will take care of any final touches to make the system fully integrated into your workflow. Cutover includes training, data conversion and importing, full system deployment and switchover. If documentation is requested for the system, it is compiled and delivered during this stage.
Generally speaking, the last step of the cutover process is the deployment of the fully formed system, unless training or documentation are required. At the end of the phase, the contract is completed.
Why Use RAD?
We consider RAD to be most efficient and most effective method of developing software because it allows you the ability to be directly involved during all steps in the process. This way, you have greater control in how your system works and your system is available to use much quicker than it would be in other development models.
In the world of software development, time is money. Developing according the model of Rapid Application Development means that your system is made to your needs, not adjusted to them afterward.
Consider a suit or a dress. If you hire someone to make one for you, do you want them to gather your measurements, make you something that is too big and too long, make you try it on, then to tailor your garment to the measurements you gave them in the beginning of the whole process? Of course not!
When you partner with us, we gather your measurements and then we make your garment according to your specifications, checking along the way to insure a proper fit. This way there is less headache and time spent on your part making sure everything works.
Rapid Application Development means you get to see your system come together before your eyes, so you know it works for you.