Amid the frequent shifts in the landscape of software development, one main strategy has remained: reducing development time as much as possible while boosting the progress. Through Rapid Application Development (RAD), wherein the planning stage is reduced and prototyping is intensified, developers can easily adapt to changing requirements in a fast-paced market. Moreover, by implementing the RAD process, teams can adapt to a flexible process throughout the evolution of the project and incorporate knowledge from the UX design process to quickly iterate before the launch of the application.
The RAD Methodology
While there are different RAD methodologies involving various tools and practices, the phases remain consistent. Here are the four stages:
- Requirements planningRapid application development starts with identifying a loose set of requirements which may change at any point in the development cycle. Rather than spending weeks or months of defining hard specifications, developers will determine the gist of the solution through the client’s vision of the application. In this first phase, system planning and analysis are implemented to come up with an agreement regarding the project scope, potential and prominent issues, and acquire management authorisation.
- PrototypeDuring this stage, developers build something that can be demonstrated to the client based on the requirements agreed upon in the first phase. Here, clients collaborate with analysts to build prototypes that require all system processes, inputs, and outputs. Multiple tweaks may be implemented until the client is satisfied.
- ConstructionOnce a prototype is ready, developers showcase their output to the client and absorb feedback starting from the interface down to the functionality. After given feedback, they may continue to prototype to make changes as the client wishes, or move on to the next step.This is the actual development stage, but in rapid application development, the input of the client remains and improvements may still be done while the software is being developed.
- Finalise the applicationIn this final stage, developers may optimise the product for it to become more stable and maintainable. Furthermore, it is also in this stage where they will write thorough documentation, connect the back-end to production data, and perform other maintenance tasks before handing over the final output to the client.
Benefits of RAD
- Speed- Through the methodology discussed, development projects are more likely to be finalized according to the set timeline and client’s demands. In the traditional development approach, it is likely that developers won’t be able to take a break after delivering the final output as changes may be requested after the initial delivery.
- Cost- In RAD, developers develop solutions exactly as the client requires. Meanwhile, in the traditional approach, there is a risk of developing complex feature sets that the customer may choose to strip from the final output. Hence, the budget spent in developing these features is lost.
- Greater Satisfaction on the part of the developer- In rapid application development, developers can have the opportunity to show their work frequently to the client and obtain feedback, giving them the confidence that the client will be satisfied with their work.
OutSystems Enables RAD
OutSystems is an application platform as a service aPaaS, which does not only enable rapid application development, but also includes hosting, release automation, version control, performance monitoring, among others. It is a visual language and involves a drag-and-drop development environment.
Basically, OutSystems just supplements what developers are already proficient in, boosts their productivity, and helps them avoid encountering a great obstacle or headwind. Furthermore, what’s cool about this low-code tool is that it can be integrated with any system and solutions can be deployed in a single click.
Direct Sourcing Solutions is a certified OutSystems partner with over 30 developers who build and maintain systems and applications through OutSystems in our offshore delivery centre in the Philippines. Outsource your development needs with us today and let us help you scale your business to new heights!