Software Development Life Cycle

Software development life cycle is a step-by-step process involved in the development of a software product. It is also denoted as software development process in certain parts of the world. The whole process is generally classified into a set of steps and a specific operation will be carried out in each of the steps.

Classification

The basic classification of the whole process is as follows :
– Planning
– Analysis
– Design
– Development
– Implementation
– Testing
– Deployment
– Maintenance
Each of the steps of the process has its own importance and plays a significant part. The description of each of the steps can give a better understanding.

Planning

This is the first and foremost stage in the development and one of the most important stages. The basic motive is to plan the total project and to estimate the merits and demerits of the project. The planning phase includes the definition of the intended system, development of the project plan, and parallel management of the plan throughout the proceedings.

A good and matured plan can create a very good initiative and can positively affect the complete project.

Analysis

The main aim of the analysis phase is to perform statistics and requirements gathering. Based on the analysis of the project and due to the influence of the results of the planning phase, the requirements for the project are decided and gathered.

Once the requirements for the project are gathered, they are prioritized and made ready for further use. The decisions taken in the analysis phase are out-and-out due to the requirements analysis. Proceedings after the current phase are defined.

Design

Once the analysis is over, the design phase begins. The aim is to create the architecture of the total system. This is one of the important stages of the process and serves to be a benchmark stage, since the errors performed until this stage and during this stage can be cleared here.

Most of the developers have the habit of developing a prototype of the entire software and represent it as a miniature model. The flaws, both technical and design, can be found and removed and the entire process can be redesigned.

Development and Implementation

The development and implementation phase is the most important phase, since it is the phase where the main part of the project is done. The basic works include the design of the basic technical architecture and the maintenance of the database records and programs related to the development process.

One of the main scenarios is the implementation of the prototype model into a full-fledged working environment, which is the final product or software.

Testing and Deployment

The testing phase is one of the final stages of the development process, and this is the phase where the final adjustments are made before presenting the completely developed software to the end-user.

In general, the testers encounter the problem of removing the logical errors and bugs. The test conditions which are decided in the analysis phase are applied to the system and if the output obtained is equal to the intended output, it means that the software is ready to be provided to the user.

Maintenance

The toughest job is encountered in the maintenance phase, which normally accounts for the highest amount of money. The maintenance team is decided such that they monitor on the change in organization of the software and report to the developers, in case a need arises.

The information desk is also provided with, in this phase. This serves to maintain the relationship between the user and the creator.

Reverse Engineering for Software Debugging

Reverse engineering in computer programming is a skill by which software can be reverted to its basic form, through a series of steps. The software is taken back to its source code level. Pretty often, software are not totally brought down to the source code level or simply cannot, but they are brought down till the assembly language level. Assembly language is a CPU understandable language which is different for different CPU architectures.

Assembly language has certain instructions known as assembly codes which define the flow of a program, the program structure, functions, etc. Everything that the software is capable of doing can be modified or deleted using these codes. Debugging is finding bugs in our software and correcting them, as and when necessary.

Debugging is most often done at development phase, which means when the software is being coded or developed. However, at times, some bugs and errors cannot be corrected at this phase. Some of these bugs can be identified and corrected when the concerned program’s source code is small but it becomes extremely difficult to correct bugs when the code is huge and complex. Reverse engineering can help programmers build better software by eliminating bugs by just understanding its techniques, procedures, and tools.

This process is not just about the bugs, but the entire aspect of developing software becomes absolutely crisp and perfect. Extensibility with the use of reverse engineering is also a major advantage, like we generally see patches being released by software companies for a security exploit or lack of required feature.

Today, many crackers are born on the information highway lanes who exploit and misuse technology. Crackers are people who reverse engineer software, not for the purpose of debugging but rather for breaking into it. They use its tools and techniques to hack authentication security mechanisms. Crackers steal passwords and patch software illegally, which they can automate by creating cracks. Cracks are small utility programs which are distributed across the Internet and emails, which help other people break security mechanisms of software with just a click of button, and without any prior knowledge.

Although this process has caused and continues to cause certain problems, but it is here to stay, to help and to build better software. As the old saying goes, “What’s good, is going to be broken!”, the only way out of the misuse of reverse engineering is to “outwit the cracker.”