RAD Model in Software Engineering

RAD Model

Introduction

It is impossible to change the design midway through the project when constructing a skyscraper. You must follow the original route from beginning to end to complete the task.RAD should be used only when a system can be modularized to be delivered in an incremental manner.

RAD should be used where the requirements change during the project and working prototypes are to be presented to customers in small iterations of 2-3 months.

It should be used only if the budget permits the use of automated code-generating tools.

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However, this is not the case when it comes to software development. You may change the design, add functionality, and delete features you don’t want without affecting the final result.

That is one of the primary reasons why software development models must be effective from the beginning to the end of the process. To do this, rapid application development was created. It allows developers to create prototypes quickly to test functionalities and features without worrying about how the final product would be impacted.

But, how did the concept of rapid application development come about? What are the benefits of using a rapid application development methodology in your organization? How do you go about developing software for rapid application development? And how did it come to be accepted as the conventional method of developing software?

What is a RAD Model?

In the context of software development, Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a development approach that promotes rapid prototyping and immediate feedback over lengthy development and testing cycles. With rapid application development, developers may take several revisions and changes to a software product in a short period without having to start at the beginning of a development schedule each time.

Development models such as rapid application development (RAD) emerged as developers discovered that the conventional waterfall development approach was not particularly successful.

It is a key weakness in the waterfall approach because after the program has reached the testing phase, it becomes impossible to change the software’s essential operations and features. The result is software that could or might not meet your developing needs.

History of Rapid Application Development (RAD)

Rapid Application Development (RAD) was first proposed in the 1980s. Therefore, it is by no means a novel concept in software development. However, unlike the waterfall approach, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, it is a process of constant growth of development philosophies in response to the requirements of the period.

For a while, Barry Boehm, James Martin, and several other individuals believed that software did not have to be constrained to conventional engineering processes. It wasn’t a single resource that necessitated the establishment of a permanent structure. It might be tailored to meet the specific requirements of the user.

When rapid application development started, it was done using a Spiral model, in which a variety of development models were employed to work on a single project. The rapid application development model evolved. It shaped itself to meet the moment’s needs while maintaining certain fundamental growth principles and rules.

Different Phases of RAD Model

The RAD model is divided into many stages, which are as follows:

Business Modeling

Identification of the flow of information between distinct functions of a company is made via business modeling, which has been modeled between different business functions. It simply states how your company will result in a payable check, implying that you will earn money. It shows how you will add value or improve the quality of the product and give a valuable product to clients at a reasonable cost to the customer base.

Business functions gather the following types of information:

  • Information that drives business processes refers to information obtained during and before development essential for raising quality to establish a successful firm.
  • The kind of information created during modeling regarding the overall development outcome so that if any changes or modifications are necessary, they may be made to improve the quality of the final product.
  • A person who produces or creates information is known as an information generator.
  • The flow of information or the direction of flow of information regarding how information flows so that if there is a problem, it may be addressed is important.
  • The information processor is someone who takes specified information and processes it, making adjustments as needed.

Data Modeling

During this phase, the information gathered from your business model is divided into distinct categories and utilized to define the data objects made accessible to you. The features of all data items that are present and valuable in the company’s growth are recognized and documented. In this sort of modeling, there is a connection between multiple data items that links them, and this relationship is described or explained in this type of modeling.

Process Modeling

During this phase, needed data items are changed or turned into the usable information or processes that are required. These procedures are very significant since they assist in extracting or gaining information from data objects to make any necessary changes for appropriate processing without encountering any difficulties. They are also responsible for performing business operations promptly. Changes and optimizations in project development might be made at this stage if necessary to boost the project’s value and quality.

Application Development

A variety of automation tools may be employed to assist in creating or developing software. RAD makes use of reusable components or produces reusable components if they are not already available to accelerate the speed with which software is developed and save development time.

Testing and Turnover

Because RAD uses reusable components, the amount of time and effort necessary for testing is decreased. However, during software development, if new components are introduced into the process during testing, it is necessary and crucial to test these newly introduced components to identify and correct any errors that may be discovered. In addition, it is equally crucial to test all interfaces to stay on the safe side of project development and avoid making any mistakes.

Advantages of RAD Model

The progress and development of the project can be measured through the various stages. Some advantages of the RAD model are:

  • Adaptable and flexible to evolve with the times
  • It comes in handy when you need to lower the total risk of a project.
  • The process is more efficient when scripts, high-level abstractions, and intermediary programs are utilized to transfer deliverables.
  • Manual coding has been reduced due to the usage of code generators and code reuse.
  • There is a chance of fewer flaws in nature due to the prototype process.
  • Each step of the RAD process provides the highest priority functionality to the client.
  • Productivity may be enhanced in a short period with lesser personnel.

Disadvantages of RAD Model

Some disadvantages of the RAD model are:

  • It can’t be utilized for smaller projects, unfortunately.
  • The systems which cannot be modularized suitably cannot use this model.
  • When the technological risk is large, it is not an appropriate solution.
  • RAD projects can fail if developers are not dedicated to delivering software on time.
  • Reduced functionality as a result of time boxing, in which features are moved to a later version to accomplish a release in a limited amount of time.
  • Scalability is reduced when a rapid application development (RAD) process is used since a prototype is produced first, and then a final application is developed.
  • As a result, it is difficult to monitor progress and challenges, and there is no documentation to indicate what has been accomplished thus far.
  • It is necessary to have highly qualified designers or developers.

Conclusion

The traditional SDLC follows rigid process models with a high emphasis on requirement analysis and gathering before the coding starts. It puts pressure on the customer to sign off the requirements before the project starts and the customer doesn’t get the feel of the product as there is no working build available for a long time. The RAD model focuses on the iterative and incremental delivery of working models to the customer. 

We hope that the earlier information helped you understand the RAD model and its phases. The rapid Application Development model is a software development approach that relies on prototyping and does not need prior preparation.

FAQs

Q1: What is the major drawback of using the rad model?
Ans: A client’s unrealistic product vision may cause a team to over-or under-develop functionality, depending on the situation. Additionally, highly specialized and competent developers are difficult to come by.

Q2: When to use the RAD Model?
Ans: Rapid application development (RAD) should be employed when necessary to develop a system that can be modularized in 2-3 months. Rapid application development (RAD) should be employed. It should be employed if there are many designers available for modeling and if the budget is large enough to cover the costs of their services and the costs of automated code generation technologies.

Additional Resources

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