Custom software creation is an integral part of any business’s growth and development. To yield top-notch results, the process has to be divided into stages.

By taking full advantage of custom apps, you can improve the efficiency of your work process, increase data security, boost employee and customer satisfaction, find new growth opportunities, and much more.

To meet all your demands, custom software developers need to go through a complex process. Let’s look at what the stages of such app development are, and how you can help software experts do their work.

Stage#1: Analyzing And Planning

The first step is to collect intel. At this stage, a business owner or a company’s IT department can offer exceptionally important assistance. They have to give answers to such questions as:

  •         Who will be using the software?
  •         What are the key goals it should achieve?
  •         What kind of data should be used in the product?
  •         What type of data should the app product?
  •         What is the timeline?
  •         What is the budget?

Once all the information is gathered, the developers focus on analyzing it. Is it possible to turn all the requirements into a single product? What are the resources needed to achieve the result?

In the process, they create a requirement specification document. While planning, the requirements may be somewhat altered. At this stage, the client should be ready to make changes to the initial list of needs to adjust to the technical possibilities.

Stage#2: Designing The Product

This step involves coming up with a product’s design with the consideration of the specifications and requirements analyzed in the first step. Design involves figuring out the hardware required to deploy the product. It also marks the general architecture of the software and identifies the software modules to be developed as well as their relationships.

At this stage, the developers decide which platform they will be using for the process:

  •         .NET
  •         Java
  •         Ruby on Rails
  •         FileMaker
  •         And more

The choice usually depends on product requirements. It can also depend on which platforms the developer is accustomed to.  

During this stage, the team comes up with User Interface and User Experience details. Depending on which users will be taking advantage of the software, the company creates an interface most useful for seamless operation.

The company also shares with the client which methodology it’s planning to use for the development. Depending on the chosen type, the level of the client’s involvement in the process may be determined

Stage#3: Coding And Implementation

After the product is designed, the developers go on to the actual creation of the code. By knowing and analyzing all specifications, the team gets sufficient information to start creating the “meat” of the program – its code.

During this stage, developers are also performing unit or module testing to check for potential problems during the process. By testing while coding, the team can catch problems before they become substantial and hinder the end product.

Some software development companies choose to outsource their coding process to a third-party developer. This usually happens due to the lack of resources to complete a large project.

While this could be a productive maneuver, it’s always important to know which people are doing the coding for your project. When choosing a developer for custom software creation, you need to learn about their available resources and third-party collaborations.

Stage#4: Testing

After coding and implementation are completed, the developers go on to the integration and validation testing stage. According to software development experts at Entrance Consulting, the testing stage is one of the most important parts of the development process since it checks for errors and shows how well the initial work has been done.

The testing must be lengthy and vigorous to discover all the possible mistakes and bugs to fix them timely.

Software developers are responsible for unit or module testing. Then they go on to the integration testing to check the interaction between individual modules and external systems. The last step is validation testing. It involves figuring out if the software meets the requirements and User Interface parameters from the end-user point of view.

If no substantial errors are found, the software can be deployed.

Stage#5: Deployment And Beta Testing

After the testing phase is successfully completed, the software developers prepare for the deployment phase. They present the product to the client so they, in turn, can start using it. This is called Beta testing. The users are taking full advantage of the product and checking how it fits their requirements. Based on their feedback, the developers can be making changes.

The Beta-testing process may take several weeks. As soon as the users have Beta tested the product and developers made all the necessary adjustments, the final version of the software is ready.

Stage#6: Maintenance And Support

Once Beta testing is complete, the product is fully released into the market. However, the developer’s work doesn’t end there. The company is responsible for maintaining the product as well.

Maintenance involves following all possible issues that arise from bugs and mistakes, which weren’t discovered during Beta testing. It also entails keeping the software updated and secure.

Custom software developers usually provide lifetime support for their products. Some apps are designed to accommodate scaling and substantial upgrades. The software developer continues monitoring the company’s needs and offering scaling services when necessary.

Another important part of the software development process is reporting. It goes throughout each of the stages. Before signing a contract, the developer and client agree on the reporting scheme to make sure all actions are coordinated properly.

Depending on the chosen methodology, the developer can report on achieved milestones and allow the client to test each part of the program before it’s completed.

Final Thoughts

Custom software development is a time-consuming and complex process that requires extensive collaboration between the developer and the client. All the above six stages are an integral part of the development process. Following them closely reflects on the quality of the end product.