The system development life cycle (SDLC) is the overall process of developing software using a series of defined steps. This section discusses several SDLC models that work well for developing applications in Oracle Application Express.
When developing applications using Application Builder, you must find a balance between two dramatically different development methodologies:
Iterative, rapid application development
Planned, linear style development
Iterative, rapid application development offers so much flexibility that you run the risk of never completing your project. In contrast, Planned, linear style development can yield applications that do not meet the needs of end users even if they meet the stated requirements on paper.
The Oracle Application Express development environment enables developers to take a more iterative approach to development. Unlike many other development environments, creating prototypes is easy. With Oracle Application Express, developers can:
Use built-in wizards to quickly design an application user interface.
Make prototypes available to users and gather feedback.
Implement changes in real time, creating new prototypes instantly.
Methodologies that work well with Oracle Application Express include Spiral and Rapid Application Development (RAD).
The Waterfall is probably the best known SDLC model. In this methodology, the development process is broken down into the following stages:
Integration and Testing
Installation and Acceptance
This methodology is referred to as a waterfall because the output from one stage is the input for the next stage.
A primary problem with this approach is that it is assumed that all requirements can be established in advance. Unfortunately, requirements often change and evolve during the development process.
A Spiral methodology is actually a series of short waterfall cycles. Each waterfall cycle yields new requirements and enables the development team to create a robust series of prototypes. One advantage of this approach is that it accommodates changing requirements. Disadvantages include complex project management and the risk development goes on indefinitely.
A Rapid Application Development (RAD) methodology has a heavy emphasis on creating a prototype that closely resembles the final product. The prototype is an essential part of the requirements phase. Advantages of this model include the ability to accommodate changing requirements, rapid development cycles, and progress can be easily measured. The major disadvantage of this model is that the emphasis on prototyping can result in scope creep. As a result, developers can lose sight of their initial goals in the attempt to create the perfect application.