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Software Life Cycle Model and Its Types

This article is an introductory part of what a software life cycle model is? In this article, we will study what this life cycle model means with respect to software, why do we need a software lifecycle model, and what are the different life cycle models that are known to us.
Submitted by Monika Sharma, on September 27, 2019

A life cycle model is also known as a process model. As the name suggests, the software life cycle model (or the software process model) gives us a pictorial representation of the entire software development process.

The life cycle model deals with each phase of the software development process and includes all the activities that are involved in its life cycle, i.e. from the initial phase (the ideation phase) of the software to its retirement phase (when the software is no longer under useful). The life cycle model involves each of these activities in the same order in which they are performed and it also takes special take care of the flow in which each activity will be carried out. This flow that is defined in the model cannot be broken while developing the software.

Why do we need a software lifecycle model in software development?

To work according to the software engineering principles, choosing a software lifecycle model for the software in the initial phases itself is must so that the developers can have an idea about when to start and terminate each of the activities in software. Having a lifecycle model for the software would help the developers to develop the software in a systematic and organized manner.

Through the software lifecycle model, we get an overview of the sequence of activities in which they are carried out. We get to know if we can return back to the previous activity for making any sort of changes after we have proceeded to the next activities. By knowing this, we can draw an estimate what should be our strategy to proceed and what are the update and change options that are available to us after we have started the development process of the software.

Types of software lifecycle models

There are numerous lifecycle models that are known to us, and each of them has their own activities flow order, and each of them differ from each other in some manner. Each of them has some pros and cons over other models. Some of the widely known lifecycle models that are commonly used are:

  1. Waterfall Model
    1. Classical Waterfall model
    2. Iterative Waterfall model
  2. Prototyping model
  3. Evolutionary model
  4. Spiral model


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