Documentation, Evaluation, Maintenance stages of the Software Development Process

Documentation is designed to help people understand how to use a software program. The 2 most common forms of documentation are the user guide and the technical guide. A user guide explains to the user how to use the software. It can be produced in paper format but it is more common as an electronic file or as online help. A technical guide explains to the user how to install the software, the memory and processor requirements and the version number of the software. Other types of documentation may be a quick start guide, shortcut guide, or a video tutorial. There may also be a section of FAQ’s.

Evaluation requires both the client and the developer to review the software. They evaluate against the questions of: Does the software meet the user requirements? meaning does it meet the specification and is it what the client wants, and Is it fit for purpose? meaning does it do what it is meant to do. The criteria the software should follow is that it must be robust (meaning it will not crash), reliable (the program works but may give a wrong answer, so should be fixed), portable (should work on more than one computer other than the one it was developed on), efficient (shouldn’t use up too much memory or disk space), it must also me maintainable (can be changed and updated easily). This stage should take place several times throughout the process by both the client and developer, to ensure anything incorrect is fixed, not just at the end.

Maintenance is all about making changes to the software after it has been handed over to the client and enters productive use. It ensures the program is corrective, meaning bugs will be fixed and errors removed.. perfective meaning the original software can be updated and it also ensures that the program is adaptive.

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