Prototyping is a general approach to develop an effective replica of any idea or software or system which needs further engineering for making it the ultimate product. The prototype model will present a mini-sized duplicate copy of your target end product which requires precise customer feedback for crafting accordingly. A prototype of an application typically displays the workability of any product in the development phase, but may not essentially contain the exact requirement of the expected outcome. In this chapter, you will learn about one of the most popular SDLC models that is the prototyping model.

What is Modern Prototyping Model?

The Prototyping Model is a methodology that is treated as a model for software development where a prototype - which is a premature approximated sample of the final product, is constructed and then tested. After that rework is done on that unfinished product as per requirement in anticipation of building a suitable prototype that is, at last, attain after the entire software is developed and then it is delivered to the customer. It is a useful model for those whose project requirement is not fully known or there is a constant update required based on customer satisfaction. It can be considered as a trial-and-error method which takes place involving the developers as well as the users. The model has two types. These are:

  1. Rapid Throwaway Prototyping: In this method, developers can explore the ideas as well as get proper customer feedback. Here, the prototype need not be a final one, and so it can be further iterated to develop new versions of the final product.
  2. Evolutionary Prototyping: Here your developed prototype will primarily be incremented for refining on the foundation of customer opinion until the final one gets accepted. It provides an improved way which can save time and effort.

Phases of the Prototyping Model

  1. Requirement Identification: Here identification of product requirements is cleared in details. It is done through interview some product's future users and other members of the departments.
  2. Design Stage: A first-round design is created in this stage for the new system.
  3. Build the Initial Prototype: An initial prototype the target software is built from the original design. Working off all the product components may not be perfect or accurate. The first sample model is tailored as per the comments were given by the users and based on that the second prototype is built.
  4. Review of the Prototype: After the product completes all the iterations of the update, it is presented to the customer or other stakeholders of the project. The response is accumulated in an organized way so that they can be used for further system enhancements.
  5. Iteration and Enhancement of Prototype: Once the review of the product is done, it is set for further enhancement based on factors like - time, workforce as well as budget. Also, the technical feasibility of actual implementation is checked.

The final system is thoroughly evaluated and tested. Periodic maintenance is conceded on an ongoing basis for preventing large-scale breakdown as well as to minimize downtime.

Benefits of the Prototyping Model

  • It is possible for customers to acquire or witness the partial product at every stage of development and enhancement.
  • New requirements can be smoothly added because of the scope for enhancement in the system.
  • Malfunctions can be effortlessly figured out.
  • Detection of errors can be easily found out to improve the quality of the software.

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