What is Rapid application development model ?

The theory is that end users can produce much better feedback when analyzing a live system, as opposed to working strictly with documentation. RAD-based development cycles have resulted in a lower level of rejection when the application is placed into production, but this success most often comes at the expense of a dramatic overruns in project costs and schedule.


The RAD model approach was made possible with significant advances in software development environments to permit rapid generation and change of displays and other user interface features. The end user is allowed to work with the displays online, as though in a manufacturing environment. This leaves little to the imagination, and a significant number of mistakes are caught using this procedure.


The down side to RAD is the propensity of the end user to force scope creep to the development effort. Since it seems so easy for the developer to generate the simple screen, it has to be just as simple to add a widget or two. In many RAD lifecycle failures, the end users and developers were caught in an unending cycle of enhancements, with the users asking for more and more and the programmers trying to satisfy them. The participants lost sight of the goal of creating a basic, useful system in favor of the siren song of glittering perfection.


Because of this, the software development team doesn’t use a pure RAD approach, but instead blends limited prototyping in with requirements and design development during a traditional waterfall lifecycle. The prototypes developed are especially focused on a subset of the application, and do not provide an integrated interface. The prototypes are used to confirm requirements and design elements, and the development of further requirements or the inclusion of user interface options not readily supported by the development environment is actively discouraged.


Advantages of RAD

RAD reduces the development time and reusability of components help to speed up development.

All functions are modularized so it’s easy to work with.

For big jobs RAD require highly skilled engineers in the team.


Disadvantages of RAD

Both end customer and programmer should be committed to complete the system in a much abbreviated time frame.

If commitment is lacking RAD will fail.

RAD is based on Object Oriented approach and if it’s hard to modularize the project the RAD may not work well.

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