The “Rapid Application Development” Methodology Approach (RAD)

What Is Rapid Application Development (RAD)?

Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a variation of agile software development methodology that promotes rapid diffusion and creation of prototypes.

The main advantage of the RAD strategy is the quick turnaround of the project, making it an appealing option for developers operating in a fast-paced environment such as software design. This quick speed is achieved by RAD’s emphasis on reducing the preparation stage and optimizing the production of the model.

RAD Model Design

The RAD model distributes the research, design, building and testing processes into a sequence of fast, adaptive development cycles. Here are the phases of the RAD model:

Business Modelling 

The business modeling phase in the RAD model takes input from the organization gathered from a variety of business-related outlets. This data is then compiled into a useful outline of how data should be interpreted as it is analyzed and what makes this particular information effective for the industry.

Data Modelling 

The information obtained in the Business Modeling process is checked and evaluated forming a set of data items that are essential to the business. All data sets attributes are described and specified. The relationship between these data items is defined and detailed in the context of the business model.

Process Modelling 

The data object sets identified in the Data Modeling process are transformed to decide the flow of business data required to accomplish clear goals in compliance with the business model. The process model for any improvements or adjustments to the data object set is specified in this step. Process descriptions for inserting, deleting, extracting or changing a data item are provided.

Application Generation 

The entire framework is designed and coding is performed using automation software to turn process and data models into actual models.

Testing and Turnover 

The average testing time in the RAD model is minimized as the prototypes are individually reviewed after each iteration. This is achieved in order to easily define and modify the components to produce the most efficient product. As most of the items are already tested, no big issues should emerge with the prototype.

RAD Model – Application (When to use?)

The RAD system can be extended to projects where simple modularization is feasible. If the project cannot be split into units, RAD can struggle. The following pointers define the usual situations in which RAD can be used:

  • RAD may be used when the device can be modularized to be delivered in an incremental way.
  • It can be used if there is a high supply of modeling designers.
  • It may be used if the budget requires the use of automatic code generation software.
  • The RAD SDLC model should be preferred only if domain experts with appropriate market experience are present.
  • Should be used where specifications change through the process and working samples need to be introduced to consumers in small iterations of 2-3 months.

The Four RADical Stages of the RAD Life Cycle

Phase 1: Requirements planning

During this phase, stakeholders will work together to identify and finalize project specifications, such as project priorities, goals, deadlines and the budget. If you have specifically described and extended each part of the project requirements, you may ask for management approvals.

Phase 2: User design

Once the project is scoped out, you can start development, building out the user design using different prototype iterations. Designers and engineers will collaborate together with customers to build and refine functional prototypes before the finished product is available.

Phase 3: Rapid construction

In this step, prototypes and beta systems are turned into functional models. Developers then collect feedback from customers about modifying and developing prototypes and making the absolute best product.

Phase 4: Cutover

This is the stage of implementation at which the final product will be launched. This involves data transfer, testing, and upgrading to a new system, as well as user training.

All final improvements are made as coders and clients are searching for systemic flaws.

Is the RAD model right for your team?

RAD approach can be an appropriate technique for a variety of various projects and teams, yet you must take into account the following key factors before adoption.

  • Do you need to create a software application within a brief period of time (two to three months)?
  • Will you have an accomplished team of engineers, coders, and programmers who can operate on your timeline?
  • Is the client open to the implementation of RAD, i.e. will the client be ready for cooperation in the product creation process?
  • Do you have the right tools and techniques to incorporate RAD?

Pros and Cons of Rapid Application Development (RAD)

Advantages of RADDisadvantages of RAD
Requirements can be modified at any timeNeeds solid team coordination
Encourage and prioritize consumer feedbackNeeds highly experienced developers/ designers
Progress may be assessedNeeds the user’s presence during the life cycle
Quick initial evaluations are taking placeOnly ideal for projects with little development time
Development time is shortened significantlyMore difficult to handle compared to other models
More output and less individualsStrong dependency on modeling expertise
Iteration time can be limited for the use of effective RAD methodsInapplicable to cheaper projects, the modeling cost and automatic code creation is very high
Integration solves a lot of integration problems from the very beginningOnly a framework that can be modularized can be built with RAD
Increase the reusability of componentsSuitable for component based and scalable systems 
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