Often, the first step in designing a new software, whether as an extension to an existing one, as a new application, as a new subsystem or as a whole new system is what is generally referred to as "Domain Analysis".
Assuming that Avenues Consult developers (including the analysts) are not sufficiently knowledgeable in the subject area of the new software, the first task is to investigate the so-called "domain" of the software.
The more knowledgeable we are about the domain at an early stage, the lesser is the work required. Another objective of this work is to make the analysts -- who will later try to elicit and gather the requirements from the domain experts -- speak with them in the domain's own terminology, facilitating a better understanding of what is being said by these experts.
Software Elements Analysis - The most important task in software development is identifying the requirements. Customers typically have an abstract idea of what they want as an end result, but not what the software should do. Incomplete, ambiguous, or even contradictory requirements are recognized by experienced software engineers at Avenues Consult. We frequently demonstrate live code on our software development servers, which helps reduce the risk of incorrect requirements.
Scope Analysis - Once the general requirements are picked up from the client, an analysis of the scope of the development should be determined and clearly stated. This is often called a scope document. Certain functionalities may be out of scope of the project as a function of cost or as a result of unclear requirements in the beginning of the development. Since the development is done externally, this document can be considered a legal document, giving rest to possible disputes and clarifying any form of ambiguity of what was promised to a client.
Specifications - Specification is the task of precisely describing the software to be written, possibly in a rigorous way. In practice, most successful specifications are written to understand and fine-tune applications that were already well-developed, although safety-critical software systems are often carefully specified prior to application development. Specifications are most important for external interfaces that must remain stable.
Software Architecture - The architecture of a software system refers to an abstract representation of that system, and makes sure that the system will meet the requirements of the product, besides ensuring that future requirements can be addressed. It also addresses interfaces between the software system and other software products, as well as the underlying hardware or the host operating system.
Implementation - The implementation process involves the programming of the code for the project.
Testing - As an integral and vital part of the software development process, the software testing process ensures that bugs are recognized as early as possible. After the code is properly tested, it is approved for release and deployed into a production environment.
Documentation - Documenting the internal software design for the purpose of future maintenance and enhancement is done throughout the development process and may include the authoring of an API, be it external or internal.
Software Training and Support - A large percentage of software projects fail because the developers fail to realize that all the time and planning put into creating software is futile if nobody in an organization ends up using it. People are often resistant to change and avoid venturing into an unfamiliar area. At Avenues Consult, we conduct training classes for end clients and administrators who would be using and managing the software.
Maintenance - Maintaining and enhancing software to adjust with newly discovered problems or new requirements can take longer than the initial development of the software. Adding code that does not fit the original design to correct an unforeseen problem or entertaining customer requests for more functionality may be necessary. This phase of increasing customer calls lets you realize the true Avenues Consult software development advantage because we analyze our test success before our customers do.