What is Rapid Application Development (RAD)?


Rapid Application Development or RAD is dominating the software development industry as companies compete to quickly penetrate the market with flawless software. What is RAD? And how it works? Still, it remains a big question.

Rapid application development is an adaptive and flexible approach to software development. The usual software development process requires working in a rigid structure by breaking down a project into different sequential steps, with each step feeding and relying on the completion of the previous phase. Such a method is inadequate in a software development environment that is rapidly overhauling.

RAD mulls to design a product that closely meets the end of the user’s requirements. In the RAD approach, basic prototypes are created, and users are incorporated into the designing process. This way, the user plays a crucial role in the development of the software development. 

Following the RAD approach, a software or application is development in four phases. 

First Phase :

In this stage, the team, including IT staff, managers, users, and more, decides the need, scope, and challenges of the project. It in this phase where the general requirements of the project are highlighted ensuring flexibility in the entire software development process.

Second Phase: 

Users and developers collaborate to create a prototype. This is an ongoing process in which users continue to interact with the prototype and provide their feedback to the developer for any changes in the product.

Third Phase:

In this phase, again, users and developers work hand-in-hand, implementing the feedback of the users through testing, coding, and other development tasks. The second and third phase feed into each other until the users approve the product.

Fourth Phase:

The fourth phase is a finalization step in which developers put some finishing touches based on user feedback, conversion, interface, and testing. The product is assessed for longevity and stability before it is delivered.

RAD’s four steps or phases are condensed form of the systems development life cycle, a process of planning, analysis, design, implementation, testing, and maintenance of the software or product.

Rapid application development is a type of tool that incorporates an integrated development environment and traditional coding to speed up application development. Creatio is also a similar tool that enables teams from marketing, service, sales, and operations to collaborate for the development process. The tool is useful in speeding up project progress by providing company-wide access to the development process. 

Understanding RAD Approach Suitability

RAD approach is most suitable when a sizeable pool of users is available to test and try the product and share their respective feedback. RAD approach takes in users’ feedback as an essential milestone in the process of developing software. Without concrete users’ input, the process could stagnate.

The approach also requires a dedicated outlook of the developers to work quickly on the software by incorporating the changes as per the users’ feedback. The RAD approach is the fastest and quickest way to accomplish a project with a little initial planning. RAD makes it easy to quickly and effectively introduce user-certified software in the market.  

Final Words:

We live in an advanced tech world where speed and accuracy matters. Companies are keen on developing products or software quickly before an innovation hits the market, revolutionizing the entire industry. The RAD approach has helped companies save from the drastic industrial overhaul by taking in the end-users’ feedback and developing user-centric software.

RAD is a convenient method of developing software as the developers can take short intervals to test it for bugs, layouts, compatibility, and more. Once a prototype of the software or application is created, it goes through a cycle of feedback and tweaking where users use the software and share their experience. Based on the user’s feedback, the developers further overhaul and modify the software.