The RAD model in software engineering involves five steps. The nature of rapid application development leads it to have reusable components and results in the parallel development of software. It makes it suited for projects with a time crunch. When organisations want to spend the limited time that they have on building the project rather than planning, then RAD software development may be the best fit.
While the end product is delivered faster, the quality is not compromised, as every stage is a result of customer feedback. The main principles of RAD methodology include
1. Business modelling
At the heart of this stage is acquiring essential business information. Business modelling consists of analyzing the flow of information within and between various functions in the project. It leads to scrutinizing what type of information is produced by which sector, who handles it, where the information ultimately reaches, and so on.
Rapid Application Development starts with a broad analysis of the business by an internal team on these parameters, as they are the most crucial before getting started on any project. Knowing where the information comes from, how it can be handled, and which factors affect the flow of information is important.
These form evidence and the crucial documentation, which can be utilised at any point. The better the analysis at this stage, the better the understanding of information flow and the lesser the number of communication gaps that may exist.
2. Data modelling
The crucial data collected from business modelling is refined and filtered at this stage. They are classified into entities or data objects that can be used to support the business and its growth.
The data is divided into entities, and the characteristics of each entity are identified this way that the relationship between different entities is grouped on the basis of usefulness.
The team works to identify and refine these key data sets and the relations between them. This way, it is easier for them to identify the required data set at a point in time and save time and effort, contributing to the project or task at hand.
3. Process modelling
As the name suggests, this is the phase where the information aligns with its purpose in the process or the project. The internal team decides which data set fits in which category and maps a flow of information around key objectives. Based on the type of data and its support to business functions, the processes are outlined.
The main aim of process modelling is to transform the data acquired into a flow that is necessary to implement a business function. In this stage, processing descriptions may also be added that help recognize, retrieve and modify a data set or object.
4. Application generation
Now that the process model and the data model are in hand, the foundation for application generation is fixed. It is when the concept turns into reality, and the team starts building the software.
Prototype creation occurs in this stage. Using code automation tools, the process and data models are used to create different prototypes that can be tested in the next stage.
5. Testing and turnover
The main criteria of the software development methodology to check feedback from users and clients occur at this stage. The different prototypes are carefully checked, component-wise, by customers to check for any issues or comments on any aspect.
It is what makes Rapid Application Development unique. There is rapid feedback and iteration in the prototype stage to avoid any major issues and changes later on in the development process. It saves time and allows faster development of the product as the components are already approved and tested.