What is SDLC? A Comprehensive Guide on How Apps Are Built

SDLC: Everything You Need to Know About the Full Development Cycle

You know that the Apple Store or Google Play Market is overloaded with mobile apps, but do you know the software development life cycle? Have you ever heard how the apps are built? If you have a cool idea, you simply can’t do without a software development team that will help turn your ideas into reality. But first off, you need to find out more about the basic steps of building software applications. In fact, the SDLC divides the development process into smaller steps that can easily be completed and checked. So, let’s take a deeper look at this issue in this comprehensive post!

SDLC: A Brief Definition of This Term

Let’s get down to the basics of this term. In general, it’s the use of standard business practices to build software products. In other words, these are properly defined processes for building top-notch software. So far, it is mostly focused on the following phases:

  • Planning of the development process;

  • A detailed analysis of requirements;

  • Software design;

  • The development process;

  • Testing;

  • Deployment.

These are general steps; however, some project managers may combine these steps or even avoid some of them. This is where a lot depends on the specifics of your project.

The main goal of the SDLC is to measure the development process and make it even more effective. When following all these stages, it is impossible to miss anything and the software will be delivered faster and will surely meet the customer’s expectations.

All the Stages of Software Development

All the Stages of Software Development

Now, let’s take a closer look at the main stages of the software development cycle for you to be no stranger to this information.


The overriding objective of this stage is to evaluate the needs of the project. This stage usually includes calculating the average cost of the project, labor requirements, setting the goals, and building the structure. Beyond this, the opinion of stakeholders is also taken into consideration at this stage. In general, the planning stage defines the scope of work that must be done to build a product.

A detailed analysis of requirements

This stage is of utmost importance as it allows a team to avoid an array of errors in the future. This is where developers and business owners have to define what the app should do. For instance, if it’s a screen time control app, it must track the internet activity of users. If it’s a new social media platform, it must have a feature that enables users to connect with each other. On top of that, resources that might be used to complete this project must be defined at this stage.

Software design

Now, a detailed design plan should be created. It is also called the Design Specifications. At this stage, the team that will be working on this project must define the architecture of the future app, the main ways users interact with the software, choose the main platforms (iOS, Android, Linux, Windows, etc.), define the programming languages, choose the methods that the app uses to communicate with central servers, etc. After that, stakeholders analyze this plan and offer suggestions (if necessary). Failures at this stage may cost a lot!

The development stage

This is actually the stage when everything happens. Now, it’s time to move on to building an app. If it’s a small project, one experienced programmer is usually enough. But if it’s a large project with an array of requirements, a few experienced developers are needed. At this stage, all the programmers and designers involved in the project have to follow the agreed blueprint. Beyond this, it’s of utmost importance to check out whether the agreed guidelines are followed (regarding the development practices and code style).

At this stage, developers usually use the Source Code Management app to control the process and track all the changes. This will surely help them create consistent code.

Coders can’t do without instructions. And this is where documentation can be just a formal process or informal (in the form of comments where programmers have to explain why this or that procedure was used). Documentation can also be in the form of a guided tour or informative video tutorials for complex tasks.


Sometimes, inexperienced programmers underestimate this stage. Nevertheless, it’s a huge mistake as the testing stage plays a pivotal role and allows a software dev team to make sure the app is ready for release. At this stage, various parts of the app must be thoroughly tested to make sure they work together in a proper way. The overarching goal of this stage is to make sure that the software product is free from all possible bugs. And this, of course, leads to better user satisfaction. So far, automated testing is mostly used, but in some instances, it is impossible to do this without manual testing.


This is where the magic happens. The application becomes available to users in the Apple Store or Google Play market. The work is already done and the product is thoroughly tested. So now is the best time to share it with users online. When the app is deployed across different environments, it becomes available to users. So they can download and check it out.

These are the mandatory stages of a software development life cycle. However, there’s also the maintenance stage. At this stage, users may find some bugs that couldn’t be identified during testing. All these errors must be solved and this leads to new development stages.

Seems like now, you are no stranger to how it all goes on inside the software dev team. Remember that absolutely each SDLC phase is mandatory and can’t be omitted. Otherwise, the final product will be far from perfect.

If right now you are searching for a trusted and time-proved development team that can help turn your ideas into reality, don’t hesitate to contact experts from Owlab. We are a business-focused engineering company with over 9 years of experience in this niche. We are committed to helping modern businesses to start, develop, and achieve success! So, if you still have any questions, drop us a line, and we’ll help you solve them all!

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