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SDLC in Software Testing: Phases, Benefits, Models & Types

25th Jan, 2024
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    SDLC in Software Testing: Phases, Benefits, Models & Types

    The Software Development Life Cycle in software development is something I've come to understand as a structured process that plays a crucial role in producing high-quality, cost-effective software within the shortest production time possible. Its primary goal is to deliver exceptional software that not only meets but exceeds customer expectations. The SDLC provides a detailed plan with stages or phases, outlining the entire process and its deliverables. Adhering to the SDLC not only boosts development speed but also minimizes project risks and costs associated with alternative production methods. 

    Throughout each stage of software development, the SDLC outlines the procedures that must be followed. Various models, known as "Software Development Process Models," identify and follow unique designs during the development phase. These models, each with their set of stages, ensure success in software development. 

    Reflecting on some vital phases of the SDLC in the software testing life cycle, it becomes evident that this structured approach is indispensable for achieving excellence in software development. 

    Here I've listed down some vital phases of the SDLC in software testing: 

    Software Development life cycle (SDLC) is an example used in Project Management that illustrates the SDLC stages of an information system development project. The full cycle of production, or all the activities responsible for organizing, producing, testing, and delivering a software product, is defined by the SDLC. Individuals who want to get certification can enroll in the Software Testing Certification course 

    What is the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)? 

    The Software Development Life Cycle, often known as SDLC, is a method for creating software that is of the greatest quality and least expensive in the quickest way possible. The well-organized phases of the SDLC allow an organization to swiftly develop high-quality software that is well-tested and prepared for usage in production. 

    Agile, waterfall and spiral models are common SDLC models. 

    Why is the SDLC Important? 

    The key motivation for using SDLC is to fully control the development process. It assists in project budget management. 

    1. Participants in the development process have a better understanding of their respective responsibilities, which prevents unneeded disputes from emerging. 
    2. aids in developing a clear operating strategy. 
    3. It enables the team to see the action plan in a clearer and better light. 
    4. With the help of an SDLC, one may reduce the cost of each stage of the production process and enhance resource utilization. 

    How Does the SDLC Work? 

    SDLC, with its focus on easing software development costs, enhancing quality, and expediting production, operates by adhering to a strategy that mitigates the expected hazards of software development projects. This approach begins by scrutinizing deficiencies in existing designs. 

    The prerequisites for the new system are defined, and after freezing the requirements, the process involves analysis, planning, modeling, production, testing, and distribution to construct the program. Anticipating costly mistakes, such as neglecting input from clients or end-users, SDLC aims to minimize the need for additional effort and post-hoc modifications. 

    Recognizing the critical importance of the testing stage, especially in the context of SDLC testing, is crucial. Ensuring code quality at every cycle is integral, given that SDLC is a systematic approach. Despite the temptation to minimize effort in testing, investing appropriately can save time, money, and revisions. Embrace wisdom and implement the right kinds of tests throughout the software testing life cycle phases.

    The Software Development Life Cycle Process 

    The SDLC process outlines the numerous steps needed in creating software to produce a high-quality end product. The stages of the SDLC cover every stage of a piece of software's life cycle, from inception to conclusion. 

    Software is created methodically and under control when the SDLC process is followed. The primary goal of SDLC is to create a high quality product that meets the end user’s needs. Requirements collecting, modeling, programming, software testing, and maintenance are the steps that the SDLC designs. It's critical to follow the stages if one wants to deliver the product in a methodical way. 

    For instance, a team is separated to work on a certain product feature of a program that has to be produced, and they are free to do so. One developer chooses to design first, another to code, and the third to work on the paperwork. This will result in project failure. Hence, it is essential for team members to have solid knowledge and understanding of each other's roles in order to produce the desired outcome.

    The Six Phases of the SDLC  

    Exploring the Six Phases of the SDLC in software testing is key to a successful approach. Let's take a simple look at how these phases play a crucial role in ensuring effective software development projects. 

    1. Requirements analysis and planning 

    All the required information is obtained from the user during this step in order to develop a product that fits their demands. Any queries must have a response within this time limit. 

    The consultant and development manager arrange a conversation with the client to gather all the relevant details, such as what the client wants to build, who will be the ultimate user and what the product's goal is. Before creating the product, it is essential to have a basic grasp of it. 

    2. Validating Requirements 

    An analysis is done to see if it is possible to develop a product after collecting information. A teleconference is scheduled for additional discussion if there are any questions. 

    The SRS (Software Requirements Specification) document is prepared once the need has been comprehended. The client should examine this document for future reference, and the developers should make sure they fully understand it. 

    3. Designing the product architecture

    From the requirements acquired in the SRS document, the design specification utilized to accomplish system development is created in this phase. 

    The moment the developer receives the design document, development and coding begin. The program design gets transformed into the source code. The entire software is implemented in this stage. 

    4. Testing Phase in SDLC

    Testing starts as soon as programming is finished and the components are made accessible for testing. During this step, the software is thoroughly assessed, and any defects are given to engineers to fix. 

    Until the software satisfies customer requirements, additional testing and bug fixing are conducted. Testers refer to the software requirements specifications to make sure the software complies with the client's criteria. 

    5. Deployment & UAT Importance  

    Depending on the customer's expectations, the product may first undergo UAT (User Acceptance Testing) before being released into the manufacturing process. 

    When using UAT, a copy of the production environment is made, and the client and programmers test the software together. The consumer must provide their approval for the app to go online if they find it to be what they expected. 

    6. Maintenance

    After a product has been deployed in a manufacturing process, the developers are responsible for maintaining the product, taking care of any issues that need to be resolved or enhancements that need to be made. 

    SDLC Models and Methodologies Explained 

    The software lifecycle explains the whole process of software development. Although each SDLC model takes a somewhat different approach, they all share the same fundamental stages and activities. 

    1. Waterfall Model  

    The first model utilized in the SDLC is the waterfall model. A different name for it is the linear sequential model. 

    In this paradigm, the output from one phase is used as the stimulus for the next. Only once the preceding phase has finished developing can the next phase begin. 

    The needs are obtained and examined first. The design phase can only start when the needs have been firmly established. The SRS Manual produced in this case serves as both an input and an output for the design process. 

    • Documents that serve as an input for the following phase—implementation and coding are prepared throughout the system design and software architecture phases. 
    • Programming is finished during the execution stage, and the resulting software is used as an input during the testing stage that comes next. 
    • All through the assessment process, the generated code is meticulously examined to look for any software defects. Up until the program is ready for usage, testing and debugging, additional testing, and defect recording are conducted. 
    • Following the customer's approval, the produced code is put into production during the deployment phase. 
    • The developers are responsible for fixing any problems that arise in the production environment and fall under maintenance. 

    The Pros of the Waterfall Paradigm  

    • The Waterfall Model is a straightforward, simply understandable model where each phase is completed one at a time. 
    • Each phase's deliverables are well specified, which prevents complexity and makes the project simple to manage. 

    Shortfalls of the WaterFall Mode   

    • A new phase cannot be begun in a waterfall model project until the current phase is finished, which makes it time-consuming and unsuitable for short-term projects. 
    • The waterfall model cannot be used for projects with ambiguous specifications or where the specifications are continually changing. This is because it relies on the needs being clear during the needs gathering and evaluation stages, and any changes made during the advanced stages would increase costs because they would need to be made during each phase. 

    2. V-Shaped Model  

    Some people also call this model the "Validation" or "Verification" model. In this methodology, development and testing go concurrently, and validation and verification go together. The only difference between the V model and the waterfall model is that in the V-Model, testing and test planning begin earlier. 

    V shaped Model – SDLC

    Source: softwaretestinghelp.com

    The Pros of the V-Model  

    • It is clear and concise. 
    • Smaller projects with stated requirements that freeze in the early stages benefit from the V-model approach. 
    • It is a methodical, disciplined approach that yields a high-quality end product. 

    The cons of the V-Model  

    • The V Model is rigid. It is challenging in the case of utilization. The execution and methods are pretty complex compared to other design environments or models. 
    • The V model is not very flexible. The architecture is straightforward, but it has limited flexibility in terms of design. The model design does not advocate highly complex calculations. 
    • The V Model software is designed during the implementation phase, so no initial prototypes are produced. Due to the absence of prototype guidance, it is complicated to develop professional software that requires a clear, concrete, and proper execution design. 
    • The drawback of the V Model is its update feature. The most highly professional software uses V Model for massive updates of both the test and requirement documents if something goes wrong midway. 
    • V Model is not suitable for building object-oriented software due to its uncertainties in the design. 

    3. Prototype Model

    In this model, the team first comes up with the prototype of the software that is to be developed. 

    • Comparing prototype models to the actual software reveals that they perform poorly and have limited functional capabilities. Prototypes are built with dummy functionality. This is a useful tool for figuring out what the customers want. 
    • Prototypes are developed before the finished version to get relevant user feedback. After taking into account user feedback, the prototype is once more examined by the client. Up until the consumer accepts the model, this process continues. 
    • After gathering requirements, a quick design is created, followed by the creation of a prototype, which is then sent to the client for evaluation. 
    • The prototype is modified in response to client comments and the clarified need, then re-presented to the client for review. The customer must accept the prototype before the genuine program can be developed. The Waterfall model technique is used to construct the real software. 

    The Pros of a Prototype Model  

    • Flaws are discovered considerably sooner using prototype models, and development costs and time are reduced. 
    • A change in need, a missing feature, or a lack of functionality can all be found during the assessment process and included in the finalized prototype. 
    • A customer's involvement from the beginning clears up any misunderstandings about the functionality's requirements. 

    The Cons of the Prototype Model  

    • The client can alter the requirements for the finished product since they are involved in every stage of the process, which makes the scope more difficult and could extend the time it takes to produce the product. 

    4. The Spiral Model  

    A combination of both prototype and iterative approaches forms the spiral model. 

    The iterations adhere to the stages of the spiral model. The innermost loop in the model is for requirement collection and analysis, which is followed by planning, risk assessment, and production. The loops in the model are the different phases of the SDLC process. Design is the second loop, followed by system development and testing. 

    Planning, engineering evaluation, and risk analysis are the four phases of the spiral model. 

    • A. Planning: The requirement collection stage of the planning process involves getting all the necessary data from the client and documenting it. The writing of the SRS manual marks the start of the next step. 
    • B. Risk Analysis: A prototype is built to conduct the analysis and choose the best solution for the risks present. 
    • C. Engineering: Coding and testing are completed after the risk analysis. 
    • D. Evaluation: The customer assesses the system that was created and makes preparations for the next iteration. 

    Advantages of the Spiral Model  

    • The prototype models are extensively used for risk analysis. 
    • The following iteration can include any functionality changes or improvements.

    Disadvantages of the Spiral Model  

    • Only huge projects are the greatest candidates for the spiral model. As it may require several iterations and take a long time to produce the desired result, the cost may be substantial. 

    5. Iterative Incremental Model 

    The product is divided into manageable pieces using the iterative incremental methodology. 

    After each iteration is finished, the product is confirmed and sent to the client for review and feedback. The newly incorporated functionality is combined with customer reviews in the following iteration. 

    As a result, the product gains features as iterations go by, and the final version has all of the product's features. 

    Phases of the incremental and iterative model: 

    • A. Inception Phase: The project's requirements and scope are outlined in this phase. 
    • B. Elaboration Phase: During the elaboration phase, a product's workable architecture is supplied. This design addresses any risks found during the conception phase and satisfies any non-functional needs as well. 
    • C. Construction Phase: During the construction phase, the architecture is completed with code that is ready for deployment and is written through operational requirement analysis, layout, execution, and testing. 
    • D. Transition Phase: The product is introduced to the manufacturing environment during the Transition Phase. 

    Pros of Iterative & Incremental Model 

    Any requirement modification is possible and won't cost anything because the new need may be included in the following iteration. 

    • The iterations examine and identify risk. 
    • Early defect detection is achieved. 
    • The product is simple to manage because it has been broken up into tiny pieces. 

    The Drawback of the Iterative Model  

    • To break down and create gradually, a thorough grasp of the requirements and the product is necessary. 

    6. The Big Bang Model  

    The Big Bang Model has no established procedure. Input and output consist of money and labor, and the result is a created good that may or may not be what the client requires. 

    The Big Bang Model doesn't need a lot of scheduling or planning. The developer analyzes the requirements, writes the code, and creates the product in accordance with his knowledge. This strategy is only applied to modest projects. The absence of a testing team and the absence of formal testing might lead to the project's failure. 

    The Pros of the Big Bang Model 

    • Its simplicity
    • Planning and scheduling are not as necessary
    • The developer is free to design their own software

    The Cons of the Big Bang Model  

    • Large, ongoing, and sophisticated projects cannot be handled with big-bang models. 
    • high uncertainty and danger 

    7. Agile Model 

    The incremental and iterative models are combined to create the agile paradigm. This paradigm emphasizes flexibility throughout product development more so than requirements. 

    A product is divided into manageable incremental builds in Agile. It is not created in its entirety in one sitting. The number of features increases with each build.  

    The upcoming update expands upon earlier features. 

    • Sprints are the terms used for iterations in agile. A sprint lasts two to four weeks. Each sprint ends with the product owner verifying it before it is provided to the client with his or her permission. 
    • Customer input is used to make improvements, and the following sprint will focus on his recommendations and enhancements. Each sprint includes testing to reduce 
    • Each sprint includes testing to reduce the possibility of any failures. 

    The Pros of the Agile Model  

    It gives one greater freedom to adjust to the changes. 

    • The new functionality is simple to implement. 
    • Customer satisfaction because we consider their comments and recommendations at every level. 

    Disadvantages of Agile Model  

    • inadequate documentation 
    • Agile requires highly qualified and experienced personnel. 
    • The project would fail if the customer was unsure of exactly what they wanted the final result to be. 

    Types of Testing in SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle)

    Understanding the role of testing in SDLC is pivotal for ensuring the reliability of software throughout its development. In this context, let's explore the different types of testing in SDLC and their significance in delivering high-quality software products. 

    1. Unit Testing  

    The smallest testable components of an application, known as units, are separately and separately examined for appropriate operation as part of the unit testing phase of software development. Software engineers and occasionally QA employees use this testing approach when the software is still in the development stage. Unit testing's primary goal is to separate written code for testing to see if it functions as intended. 

    Unit testing is a crucial stage in the development process because, when done properly, it may aid in finding early code issues that could be more challenging to identify in subsequent testing phases. and successfully! 

    2. Integration Testing  

    Integration testing is the process of testing several software development components collectively. Whether they work together effortlessly as a unit or as a system depends on this. 

    Some people misunderstand it with unit testing, which likewise evaluates components of the whole, but there is a distinction in when and how the test is run. 

    Modules or parts of the project are tested independently to ensure they operate as intended. Groups of these modules are subjected to integration testing to ensure optimal interoperability and cooperation. While integration testing is typically done later in the project schedule, unit testing is one of the first tests carried out in a project. 

    3. System Testing

    The method through which a quality assurance (QA) team assesses how the different aspects of a software relate with one another in the entire, integrated system or application is known as system testing, also known as system-level testing or systems integration testing. 

    System testing makes sure the software works as intended. This procedure, which functions as a form of black box testing, focuses on an application's performance. For instance, system testing may examine whether each type of user input results in the desired output across the application. 

    UAT refers to the last phase of the software testing process. Before releasing the real product, this UAT procedure serves a significant and important function in validating whether all business criteria have been met. 

    Additionally, the definition of UAT testing may be described as the user technique, in which the generated software is tested by the business user to see whether it is operating in accordance with the established requirements. Beta testing, application testing, and end-user testing are other names for this kind of testing. Before deciding to release the program onto the market, the UAT testing procedure is undertaken. 

    4. User Acceptance Testing  

    UAT refers to the last phase of the software testing process. Before releasing the real product, this UAT procedure serves a significant and important function in validating whether all business criteria have been met. 

    Additionally, the definition of UAT testing may be described as the user technique, in which the generated software is tested by the business user to see whether it is operating in accordance with the established requirements. Beta testing, application testing, and end-user testing are other names for this kind of testing. Before deciding to release the program onto the market, the UAT testing procedure is undertaken. 

    Benefits of the SDLC   

    Using a safe software development life cycle has a lot of benefits. Here are a few of the most important advantages one should be aware of. 

    • Early vulnerability detection lowers the cost of establishing security measures and vulnerability mitigation procedures. Instead of releasing patched software, which is far more expensive than fixing the issue in real-time during the SDLC, the security flaws are corrected during the development cycle. 
    • A safe SDLC also has the benefit of fostering a security culture that is more likely to identify problems in other departments within an organization in addition to production. 
    • Essential security choices are recorded before development starts because security is included into the design phase of a safe SDLC. The development and management team are both aware of the project's security dangers and worries. As a result, the development approach may be adjusted to guarantee secure code is created as the SDLC moves forward. 
    • One of the main benefits of a secure SDLC is that it aids in the company's overall reduction of inherent business risks. Businesses that suffer from cybersecurity assaults typically lose a lot more money than they had planned, whether it be from minor security threats like SQL or XML intrusions or serious security problems like DoS (denial of service). 

    Best Practices in Software Development   

    1. Avoid repetitions ( The DRY Principle)  

    Computers are intelligent. They don't require regular repetition of information like humans do in order to retain it. Once told, a computer will remember that information until instructed to forget it. 

    Duplication is a waste because of this. Repetition only wastes time and puts more pressure on the code, the budget, and the developer—whether that's wasted lines of code or wasted time during the process. Although it might not always be applicable, the DRY principle is a fantastic general rule. 

    In summary, steer clear of duplication and focus on code abstraction, automation, and clever implementation. 

    2. Check, check, and check again  

    Software businesses test their code thoroughly even before they have finished writing all of it. Continuous testing will help one have a deeper grasp of the developed code and what still has to be corrected in the long run. 

    3. Master how to estimate  

    One has to have reasonable expectations for their time commitment and budget when administering a software project, whether they are working as a freelancer or as a member of a development team. Making excellent code involves more than simply writing it; it also involves spending the time to write it effectively and improve it. 

    • Rushing through tasks will result in the writing of subpar code. 
    • Realistic time limitations are good for no one and increase technical debt. 

    Establish agreements that provide one the time necessary to develop correctly. As a consequence, both the developer and their customer will be content. 

    4. Make it hardy  

    Simplicity is paramount when developing software. Don't, however, make the program so basic that it malfunctions. The written code must have some degree of resiliency. It should be forgiving of human mistakes while yet being challenging to abuse. 

    If the software is rigid in these regards, end users will have a considerably harder time correctly implementing it. 

    Successful rollouts depend on writing code that is easy to understand and unlikely to break (or be misunderstood and confused). Where is the value, after all, if people can't make use of it? Also, check out the article on using agile project management in SDLC. 


    For the project to be successfully finished, adherence to an appropriate life cycle is crucial. In turn, this facilitates management. 

    Each model software development life cycle of the Software Development Life Cycle has pros and cons of its own. The elements like Requirement (whether it is obvious or confusing), System Complexity, Scope, Budget, Expertise, etc. may help establish the optimal model for every Project. Spiral and Agile models are ideal to employ when a need is uncertain since the necessary adjustment may be easily adopted at any stage. All other SDLC models, however, are based only on the waterfall model, which is a fundamental model. Visit the Software Testing Certification course from KnowledgeHut and learn testing from scratch. 

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What is SDLC with an Example?

    The term "Software Development Life Cycle" (SDLC) refers to a technique for producing high-quality software that includes well-defined procedures.  

    • It is essential to examine some successful and actual projects that used SDLC models to better understand the process. Let's look at an example for developing an app for hybrid streaming. 
    • The development team agreed to a T&M mode of pricing and built the framework using Backbone.js as a foundation. 
    • New features could be introduced, development expenses dropped, and cloud support became apparent thanks to the new design, among other benefits. 
    • In this SDLC Example, the programmers included capabilities like movie rental capabilities and SVOD that are associated with online media. 
    • The programmers concentrated on product stabilization and provided adjustable multi-screen functionality as well. 
    2Does SDLC Include Testing?

    Yes, SDLC involves testing. In fact, it is one of the most important steps in the SDLC. Testing assists businesses in conducting thorough software evaluations and ensuring that their output satisfies customer requirements. Before moving on to the development process, firms can find all the defects and errors in the program thanks to the testing phases of the SDLC. 

    3What are the Seven Phases of SDLC?

    The stages of software development that the SDLC approach focuses on in-depth are as follows: 

    • Analysis of requirements and planning 
    • Validating requirements 
    • Designing the product architecture 
    • Software development 
    • Testing 
    • Deployment and UAT 
    • Maintenance 
    4Is SDLC Agile or Waterfall?

    SDLC is neither Agile or Waterfall. The SLDC or Software Development Life is a series of activities that must be fulfilled in the development of a software from the moment an idea is conceived until the moment a software is released. There are several methods to divide these tasks into distinct classifications or groups. 

    However, how these activities should be planned is not specified in the description of the activities. One such arrangement is to arrange them in a waterfall-like fashion. Agile approaches employ the same tasks, but they're structured iteratively rather than sequentially. 

    5What is the Role of a Tester in Software Development?

    The importance of a tester in software development cannot be understated. They aid software teams in verifying project requirements and features, both functional and non-functional. The functionality of features that have already been deployed might be affected by additional features. Before they affect the finished product, testers can assist in identifying these issues. 

    Additionally, it is considerably simpler to find hidden flaws if testers are used early in the project. Therefore, compared to the latter phases, the cost of fixing these issues is negligible. Since the testers eliminated the serious software flaws, the finished product was superior to that of the competition. 


    Rajesh Bhagia

    Blog Author

    Rajesh Bhagia is experienced campaigner in Lamp technologies and has 10 years of experience in Project Management. He has worked in Multinational companies and has handled small to very complex projects single-handedly. He started his career as Junior Programmer and has evolved in different positions including Project Manager of Projects in E-commerce Portals. Currently, he is handling one of the largest project in E-commerce Domain in MNC company which deals in nearly 9.5 million SKU's.

    In his role as Project Manager at MNC company, Rajesh fosters an environment of teamwork and ensures that strategy is clearly defined while overseeing performance and maintaining morale. His strong communication and client service skills enhance his process-driven management philosophy.

    Rajesh is a certified Zend Professional and has developed a flair for implementing PMP Knowledge Areas in daily work schedules. He has well understood the importance of these process and considers that using the knowledge Areas efficiently and correctly can turn projects to success. He also writes articles/blogs on Technology and Management

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