Application development, also known by many terms like software development, software design and platform development, is basically the development of a software product.
In a broader sense, application or software development involves all the activities between the conception to the final deployment of the software. Software can be developed for various uses and purposes like business, commercial or personal.
Software can be embedded into physical consumer products by integrating the development process with the production process. This integration procedure is known as embedded software Development. A software development follows a life cycle pattern having various phases or stages which finally leads to the product or software creation.
A general, well-planned software development life cycle consists of the following stages:
· Feasibility Test
· Requirement analysis
· Architectural Design
· Implementation (Coding)
· Testing and Debugging
One of the most important aspects of the Software development is quality. The need of better quality control has given rise to the branch of software engineering which makes the whole process of application development much more systematic and structured.
Applications can be developed using any of the programming languages like java, C++, Visual Basic, etc. Each of these languages has their own compatibility requirements and can be used to develop applications on various platforms. On the basis of medium of usage, applications can be divided into the following categories:
· Computer Software – Is a collection of programs which tell the computer what to do. These consist of virtually all programs that run on computers. Right from the operating system to a simple calculator is an example of computer software.
· Mobile applications – This category has gained tremendous popularity in the recent years opening up a highly potential market for mobile application development companies. As of 2011, over 50% of the total mobile phones in the world were Smartphones. All mobile devices these days support applications for business, finance, entertainment, general utility, etc. The famous App Store by Apple has a total of over 420,000 apps to offer
Software development has been an industry and profession for over two decades now and with the increasing rate of technological advancements, it will continue to be of value for a long time ahead.