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Assignment: Rapid Prototyping

Assignment: Rapid Prototyping

Assignment: Rapid Prototyping


Rapid Prototyping or Rapid Application Development

As technology advances and faster development is expected,  rapid prototyping , also known as  rapid application development (RAD), provides a fast way to add functionality through prototyping and user testing. It is easier for users to examine an actual prototype  rather than documentation. A rapid requirements-gathering phase relies on workshops and focus groups to build a prototype application using real data. This prototype is then beta tested with users, and their feedback is used to perfect or add functionality and capabilities to the system ( Figure 9-2 ).

Figure 9-2 Rapid Application Development (RAD) or Rapid Prototyping

According to Alexandrou ( 2016 ), “RAD (rapid application development) proposes that products can be developed faster and of higher quality” (para. 1). The RAD approach uses informal communication, repurposes components, and typically follows a fast-paced schedule. Object-oriented programming using such languages as C++ and Java promotes software repurposing and reuse.

The major advantage is the speed with which the system can be deployed; a working, usable system can be built within 3 months. The use of prototyping allows the developers to skip steps in the SDLC process in favor of getting a mockup in front of the user. At times, the system may be deemed acceptable if it meets a predefined minimum set of requirements rather than all of the identified requirements. This rapid deployment also limits the project’s exposure to change elements. Unfortunately, the fast pace can be its biggest disadvantage in some cases. Once one is locked into a tight development schedule, the process may be too fast for adequate testing to be put in place and completed. The most dangerous lack of testing is in the realm of security.

The RAD approach is chosen because it builds systems quickly through user-driven prototyping and adherence to quick, strict delivery  milestones . This approach continues to be refined and honed, and other contemporary manifestations of RAD continue to emerge in the agile software development realm.