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The Prototyping model | Software Engineering

This article is all about one of the software life cycle models: the prototyping model. In this article, we will study about this model in detail about its different phases and about the different activities that are performed while building any model by following the prototyping model.
Submitted by Monika Sharma, on October 03, 2019

A prototype means a preliminary model of anything which gives us a rough idea about the basic functionalities that the real model would have. The prototyping model follows the same strategy.

In the prototyping model, we first take a note of the initial requirements of the user about the software, create its prototype and release it to the user for evaluation. This prototype does not perform all the functionalities that the final software would perform but it depicts all of them. The prototype is concerned with the designing part of the software and not the implementation part. Now, the user evaluates and gives reviews regarding it, if he is satisfied with the model or not. If any further additions or modifications are to be made, then again the changes in the design of the model are made, or else the prototype model is finalized and forwarded for development. After that, it is coded, tested and deployed and then maintained afterward as required.

A basic overview of the Prototyping model can be made from the following diagram:

The prototyping model

Fig. The Prototyping model (A type of software lifecycle model)


Why to use prototyping model?

While developing software, there are cases wherein the initial stages, we do not know what the overall requirements of the software are. This happens mostly in cases where the customer is not completely sure what he wants his software to look like. So, in these cases, the prototyping model is the best suited because the user can now have some suggestions from the designing team and also make his modifications in the software. Therefore, it is recommended to be used in the following situations:

  • Customer requirements are not clear and complete.
  • The Design is not clear, i.e. how the software must look like.
  • The technicians and developers are not clear about the design of the software.
  • The user knows what inputs are to be given and what is the expected output that the software must produce, but is not clear with the user interface how these things will be displayed on the device.






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