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When you should release an application on the market

When is the right time to launch an application? What’s better: wait until every functionality is developed o launch the app as soon as possible?

In the past few years, models and methodologies of software development have deeply changed to get closer to the client’s needs and to plan as much as possible the requirements and the development phases.

When you create a software product it is important to follow a series of predictable steps that can help you obtain successful results in a set time limit.
First of all, you should define the goals of the project and analyze the demands and the feasibility which indicates the expression, the collection and formalization of the client’s needs. After these preliminary steps you can move to the development of the application which is subdivided into other activities like encoding and unit tests, integration and test until the check of the product

The sequence of the phases of a software’s lifecycle depends on the chosen development model. When developing an application, we often wonder if it’s better releasing requirement sets with following changes, involving the client step by step, or planning since the beginning the entire application, testing it only once finished. It’s two very different approaches, defined in two main categories: the Waterfall model, traditional and sequential, and the Agile model, innovative and iterative.

The Waterfall model is a relatively linear sequential design approach where progress flows downwards like a waterfall, so you cannot proceed to the next stage if the previous one has not been completed. On the contrary, the Agile model splits the work into a series of activities; the requisites are collected, discussed and evaluated at the beginning of every cycle and the user is constantly involved. It is based on developing single blocks of functionality instead of developing the entire software in one block.

In the waterfall model all work phases are planned only once, every team knows what to do and what is the deadline. However, if there’s a delay, all processes are postponed until the process in question is completed. Often the client’s needs, which can change over time, are not completely satisfied because the testing and evaluation phase is only done when the product is finished. These inconveniences involve the risk of implementing solutions that are not technologically updated in the final launching phase. In the Agile model this risk is avoided because the tasting and evaluation activities are distributed all over the product’s lifecycle. The client becomes an integral part of the project team; therefore, his satisfaction is more important. At the same time, the Agile model proposes a less-structured work with less defined activities.

Today lots of companies are migrating to Agile methodologies but the choice between the two models depends heavily on the kind of project we’re dealing with. The Waterfall model is generally ideal for projects with defined budget and time, in which there are many people involved and the activities need to be more structured. On the contrary, the Agile model is preferable when there are more flexible conditions and the focus is mainly on the business’ needs. There’s no way of developing and selling an application that is actually better than another one.