Explain the following phases in Software engineering context: •Definition •Development •Support?


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Rebecca Hunt answered
Software engineering comprises a wide range of different activities that are used to design as well as to develop software. These may involve modeling, problem-solving, knowledge acquisition and rationale driven activities. Software engineering also revolves around concepts that deal with abstraction, analysis and design, prototyping, software architecture and process, reuse, measurement as well as tools and integrated environment.

The basic work in software engineering can be divided into three phases whatever the area of application is or how big the project and how complicated it might be. These phases include the following.

  • Definition Phase

The first part of any software project is the definition phase and this part focuses on answering the question 'what?' This would include the information should be processed, the function as well as the performance that it is intended to do, the interfaces that need to be established, the designs that need to be included plus the validation criteria that would qualify a system to be successful.

  • Development Phase

This is the part that would answer the question 'how?' Software developers should be able to identify the process of constructing the data, the function that needs to be implemented and incorporated in the software architecture, the interfaces to be included and the translation of the design into an acceptable programming language. This part includes code generation and software testing.

  • Support Phase

This part now is concerned with correcting the errors or defects of the system, making necessary adjustments and changes to meet the changing requirements of customers. Adaptive maintenance may also be necessary to conform to the changes that are related to the external environment. Support can also come in the form of preventive maintenance for the effective use of the program to answer different needs of users.

Aside from the generic phases, software engineering may also include a number of other activities like software project tracking and control, risk management, technical reviews and software configuration management among others.

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