The software development life cycle (SDLC) is the entire process of formal, logical steps taken to develop a software product The six stages of the SDLC are designed to build on one another, taking the outputs from the previous stage, adding additional effort, and producing results that leverage the previous effort and are directly traceable to the previous stages. This top-down approach is intended to result in a quality product that satisfies the original intentions of the customer.
The planning stage establishes a bird's eye view of the intended software product, and uses this to establish the basic project structure, evaluate feasibility and risks associated with the project, and describe appropriate management and technical approaches
REQUIREMENTS DEFINITION STAGE
The requirements gathering process takes as its input the goals identified in the high-level requirements section of the project plan. Each goal will be refined into a set of one or more requirements.
The design stage takes as its initial input the requirements identified in the approved requirements document. For each requirement, a set of one or more design elements will be produced as a result of interviews, workshops, and/or prototype efforts
The development stage takes as its primary input the design elements described in the approved design document. For each design element, a set of one or more software artifacts will be produced. Software artifacts include but are not limited to menus, dialogs, data management forms, data reporting formats, and specialized procedures and functions.
INTEGRATION & TEST STAGE
During the integration and test stage, the software artifacts, online help, and test data are migrated from the development environment to a separate test environment. At this point, all test cases are run to verify the correctness and completeness of the software. Successful execution of the test suite confirms a robust and complete migration capability.
INSTALLATION & ACCEPTANCE STAGE
During the installation and acceptance stage, the software artifacts, online help, and initial production data are loaded onto the production server. At this point, all test cases are run to verify the correctness and completeness of the software. Successful execution of the test suite is a prerequisite to acceptance of the software by the customer.