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The System Analysis & Design Life Cycle

Instructor: David Whitsett

David has taught computer applications, computer fundamentals, computer networking, and marketing at the college level. He has a MBA in marketing.

When you build a house, you start with a floor plan. When you build an information system (hardware, software or both), you go through the system development life cycle (SDLC). In this lesson, we'll examine the steps of the SDLC.

Starting with a Plan

An electrical supply company needs to install a new warehouse inventory system. They know they would like to use wireless handheld barcode scanners and they would like the software to link to their accounting system. Other than that, they're starting from scratch. How do they get started?

System Analysis & Design Life Cycle

There are many names for the system analysis and design life cycle. The most common name for the process is the system development life cycle (SDLC), also known as the software development life cycle or the application development life cycle. The SDLC is a way to conceptualize, design, build, install, and maintain a new computer system. It can include hardware and software, or it can also refer to just a new software system.

You see the SDLC depicted as anywhere from a five-step to a seven-step process. But, in any case, it begins with conceptualizing something new and it ends with having to do it over again because a system has become old or obsolete. That's why it's known as a cycle.

Steps to Success

Let's look at the activities that are part of the SDLC:

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