What Is Rapid Application Development and When Should I Use It?

What Is Rapid Application Development

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What Is Rapid Application Development and When Should I Use It?

It is impossible to change the design halfway through when one is building a mega project, can you? Well, in software development, this is something you don’t have to worry about thanks to RAD. The changing market conditions often make the landscape of software development to change regularly. This aspect calls for utilization of flexible and efficient development models straight from the design stage. Rapid software development was invented as a solution to this problem. RAD assists to quickly develop prototypes for testing features and functionalities without having to fear any impacts on the final product. With RAD, developers can easily alter the design; attach/detach functionality, eliminate all the fluff that is not needed, all without impacting the final product.

What is RAD (Rapid Application Development)?

What Is Rapid Application Development
What is RAD ?

RAD is a form of agile software development model that was invented in the 80s. Rapid application development is a progressive model that provides more essence to quick feedback and rapid prototyping over a prolonged testing cycle and development. This model allows rapid software developments in software engineering have multiple updates and iterations within a short time, without the need of restarting from scratch every time. The general concept behind this technique is to treat software projects like clay as opposed to steel. In the current market, the use of RAD has rapidly become essential due to the competitive marketplace and unpredictable market conditions. In simple terms, RAD allows low-code rapid software development through which an organization can roll-out new programs more rapidly.

Rapid Application Development Stages Explained

Getting started with RAD typically follows cyclical stages as explained below:

  • Requirements Planning

What Is Rapid Application Development

This is an essential stage for the optimum success of the project. In this stage, users, developers, and other team members connect to identify the objectives and potentials of the overall project. The present and prospective challenge that may affect the development of the project is also discussed. If the goals are clearly defined, insignificant change orders will be needed during the development process.

  • User design

What Is Rapid Application Development
User design

After identifying the scope of the project, it is time to go into actual development. User design is developed via different prototype iterations. During this stage, clients/users join hands with developers to make sure that their needs are being achieved at each step in the design process. In this stage, the developer designs a prototype, the client tests it, and then they work together on what functions and what didn’t.

  • Rapid construction

What Is Rapid Application Development
Rapid construction

In this stage, the beta systems and prototypes designed in the previous step are transformed into working models. Developing the final working model is more straightforward to the developers because most changes and bugs were addressed during the iterative design stage. The product is worked upon by coders, testers, programmers, and developers until the final product meets the client’s objectives and expectations.

  • Cutover

What Is Rapid Application Development

In this stage, the finished product is implemented and launched. During this phase, all the final changes are carried out. Additionally, testing, data conversion, and changeover are performed to the new system. User training is also carried out during this stage.

Rapid Application Development vs. Agile

What Is Rapid Application Development
Rapid Application Development vs. Agile

The fact that agile was invented much later than RAD makes it more evolved and popular than RAD. As opposed to RAD, Agile focuses more on its models and perfect work environment. RAD, on the other hand, is a much more elastic model. RAD emphasizes the quality of outcome as opposed to the timeframes and techniques utilized for delivery. Due to this aspect, companies that do not have well-known agile models prefer rapid application development as their perfect development model.

In both cases, there is a significant emphasis on early and constant software delivery and room for altering requests even in the later phases of development.

Rapid Application Development Example

OutSystems is the leading rapid application development project examples. OutSystems is an excellent RAD system that allows developers to develop and deploy custom enterprise programs easily and rapidly. It offers useful features such as single-click deployment and full stack visual development to enable quick development of enterprise systems. This program provides complete development automation and can be implemented in the cloud or on-premise.

When can One Use Rapid Application Development?

  • When a Project is being done fast

What Is Rapid Application Development
Project is being done fast

RAD is the best bet when you are under pressure or when you have got a tight deadline to deliver a functioning project. Using RAD saves significant time that would have been otherwise used going through a long and tedious planning and design stage.

  • When one can efficiently test the prototypes

What Is Rapid Application Development
Test the prototypes

Rapid application development is the real deal if you have sufficient users who can continuously offer dependable feedback on your prototypes. The prototypes designed via the RAD model rely on the feedback from previous iterations. With this, the developer gets reliable and helpful feedback from dependable sources.

  • When one has sufficient budget

What Is Rapid Application Development
Sufficient budget

The rapid application development model is reasonably cheap as compared to other development methods. Nevertheless, there are situations where rapid software development can be costly. In some instances, you may be forced to hire experts and offer them the best salaries to help you develop the project, but you can have your idea developed rapidly than any other model if you have got the staff at hand.

Irrespective of your experience in the field of software development, there is unquestionably no uncertainty that with devoted stakeholders and an ideal team, the rapid application development can progress project competencies, yield timely results and enhance customer satisfaction.

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