Tradition makes the mind a slave. You are no longer an individual but a product. Your mind is a result of a thousand yesterdays.” – Bruce Lee

The businesses today are suffering from financial challenges due to traditional application developments because they live in the illusion of permanence of tradition. However, some businesses have realized that they can save a lot of money and time if they invest in Rapid Application Development instead.

Traditional application development follows the rigid waterfall model for software development that consumes a lot of time for each step and makes the progress slow. It requires a lot of investment with low guarantee of Return on Investment:

Traditional app development requires a lot of investment in infrastructure to fulfill the need of basic tools for the processes. It comes with further expenses of extended tools and maintenance costs.

Machinery requires licensing from the government that eats up a lot of money and narrows the budget.

The operation of the infrastructure requires training of employees that consumes a lot of time and money. Without a little experience, their work is unreliable for the owner.

Rapid Application Development is a software development methodology that overcomes these economic hurdles smartly. It uses Integrated CASE (Computer- Aided Software Engineering) tools for faster development of complex projects. It is based on two features-

Software Prototyping
It refers to creating an incomplete model of the software meant to be developed. The first step of prototyping is gathering information about the basic requirements of a project. It is followed by developing the prototype according to the analysis. The prototype does not involve intensive planning and is, therefore, flexible enough to be suitable for any environment. The sample is sent to the user and changes are made as per the demand in the prototype.

Iterative Development
An Iterative Development model is divided into small steps for the development of a large application. The steps usually include gathering information, analyzing and designing the model, implementation, and revision. The process of iteration and prototyping go hand in hand.

The most important technique of Rapid Application Development is Timebox. Timebox executes a project in a fixed time limit and focuses on the critical issues of the project. Rapid application development is usually used when the development time is critical, or there is an urgent requirement of new plans and tools. This makes the decisions made on infrastructure investment more reliable.

There are 5 phases of Rapid Application Development:

1.Business Modeling
The business modeling phase comprises of identifying and analyzing the flow of information between different businesses and acquiring the necessary information to start the project. It observes how and when the information is processed and how it can be accessible to a related business when required.

2.Data Modeling
This phase is about organizing the acquired data from business modeling into a useful data model that identifies and sets business needs and objectives. The information is incorporated into the business operation planning to set up a base for the company to function.

3.Process Modeling
This model defines the procedure of how the information acquired should be used and constructs a path to reach the objectives. It prepares a layout structure for the execution of the business and defines the changes required to achieve business goals.

4.Application Generation
Application generation utilizes automated tools to bring the planning into action. It induces prototypes into the system to deliver the required enhancement to the business.

After the implementation of the prototypes, the system is rechecked for any flaws in the development. During every iteration, the program is thoroughly tested in order to avoid major issues in the future. If any problems are detected, the required changes are made efficiently.

With its sincere set of rules, RAD has the reputation of providing a better quality experience to people in their businesses. It uses the existing reusable products for development that leads to cost- efficiency of the project. It minimizes the requirement of infrastructure, maintenance, training and so much more that adds to the cost reduction of development up to 40%. Moreover, it gives the users freedom from the maintenance of their IT infrastructure and tends to provide great customer satisfaction.

However, it is not meant for everyone to choose-

The most important thing is to realize whether or not you need a prototype. Many projects do not require a prototype, which is the central feature of RAD, to function.

RAD is meant for small projects. However, dividing the projects into small fragments is not possible for every business. Therefore, companies with big projects should avoid using it.

It requires a great amount of flexibility to establish RAD into your system. The businesses with a rigid structure should never opt for it.

Who should choose RAD?

RAD is meant for the organizations that are planning to execute a small project within a short time span. These organizations should be flexible enough to incorporate a prototype into their system efficiently. They should preferably have a small team of decision makers who are reachable at the time of the project.
Analyze and evaluate your need for Software Development minutely. If the Rapid Application Development model suits your requirements, go RAD!