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What are advantages and disadvantages of RAD model?

The process of RAD or rapid application development is quite compressed when compared to the expandable nature of the traditional software development methodologies. Fats development and delivery of a new software system or product is the result of such a compressed process only.

There are so many other forms in which the phases of rapid application development model can be described. These phases have been mentioned below:
1. Business modeling
2. Data modeling
3. Process modeling
4. Application generation
5. Testing and turn over

The demand for faster iterations in the phases of software development is on rise with the advent of the collaborative and session – less development such as web 2.0. Further the increasing use of the open source products as well as frame works in core development has called for the use of the rapid application development methodology.

There are certain RAD technologies that insist up on reusing the software, keeping a small structured team and distributed development. Even though the rapid application development methodology has got such a use, many of the giant software vendors still prefer using old waterfall models with some spiraling in the development process of their flagship products.

There are various types of RAD such as:
1. Agile
2. Extreme
3. Joint application
4. Lean
5. RAD
6. Scrum

In rapid application development, iterative incremental process can sometimes lead to a succession of prototypes resulting in an unsatisfactory production of the application. To avoid such problems the development tools need to be flexible, robust etc. Also, it is a tendency of the end users to perceive that if anything is working faster, the faster is its development cycle. When the rapid application development is deployed there should be no confusion between the responsibility and roles.

Advantages of Rapid Application Development

Following are the advantages of the rapid application development:
1. It is quite flexible and thus adaptable to the changes.
2. Large projects can be easily handled via rapid application development.
3. With rapid application development an overall reduction in the project risk can be realized.
4. In rapid application development short development cycles are incorporated.
5. Time taken by the software development process is reduced by huge margins since the time of the requirements analysis, planning stage and business requirements documentation is cut down.
6. Rapid application development allows one to store the software prototypes in a repository for further use in future. Thus giving speed to the software development process.
7. Estimation of the project cost becomes an easy task for the project manager and therefore implementation of the project cost controls becomes easy.
8. If it is required for the component to be picked from the repository then there is no need for it to be tested since it has already been tested.
9. Rapid application development model has its own dynamic manner for the collection of the project management requirements.

Disadvantages of Rapid Application Development

1. It cannot be used for small projects.
2. Rapid application development is one of the costly methodologies and requires more resources.
3. Rapid application development model is not meant for every application.
4. Technical risks involved are quite high.
5. Commitments from both the developer and the customer are required. If commitment is not there rapid application development is likely to fail.
6. Requires the team to work cohesively together.
7. Requires developers with very high technical skills.
8. It can be difficult sometimes to implement project quality management during the management cycle in terms of parameters such as standardization, reliability, consistency etc.

Use of Rapid Application Development

– The best use of the rapid application development is when the software to be developed is based up on the foundations of the prototypes which already exist.
– This is so because the use of prototypes is one of the key aspects of the rapid application development.
– However, it is always better not to use rapid application development methodology for the development of the functionality that previously has never been developed.

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