Development Methodology

Versiant utilizes the Dynamic Systems Development Model (DSDM) based on the Rapid Application (RAD) approach for all custom development and integration engagements. The model enables a development project to move forward quickly and holistically within time and resource constraints. DSDM is based on the following principles:

  • Active user involvement.
  • Empowered teams that the authority to can make decisions.
  • A focus on frequent delivery of products.
  • Using fitness for business purpose as the essential criterion for acceptance of deliverables.
  • Iterative and incremental development to ensure convergence on an accurate business solution.
  • Reversible changes during development.
  • Requirements that are base lined at a high level.
  • Integrated testing throughout the life cycle.
  • Collaboration and cooperation between all stakeholders.

Dynamic Systems Development Model

Feasibility Study

In this phase the problem is defined and the technical feasibility of the desired application is verified. Apart from these routine tasks, it is also checked whether the application is suitable for Rapid Application Development (RAD) approach or not. Only if the RAD is found as a justified approach for the desired system, the development continues.

Business Study

In this phase the overall business study of the desired system is done. The business requirements are specified at a high level and the information requirements out of the system are identified. Once this is done, the basic architectural framework of the desired system is prepared.

The systems designed using RAD should be highly maintainable, as they are based on the incremental development process. The maintainability level of the system is also identified here so as to set the standards for quality control activities throughout the development process.

Functional Model Iteration

This is one of the two iterative phases of the life cycle. The main focus in this phase is on building the prototype iteratively and getting it reviewed from the users to bring out the requirements of the desired system. The prototype is improved through demonstration to the user, taking the feedback and incorporating the changes. This cycle is repeated generally twice or thrice until a part of functional model is agreed upon. The end product of this phase is a functional model consisting of analysis model and some software components containing the major functionality.

Design and Build Iteration

This phase stresses upon ensuring that the prototypes are satisfactorily and properly engineered to suit their operational environment. The software components designed during the Functional modeling are further refined till they achieve a satisfactory standard. The product of this phase is a tested system ready for implementation.

There is no clear line between these two phases and there may be cases where while some component has flown from the functional modeling to the design and build modeling while the other component has not yet been started. The two phases, as a result, may simultaneously continue.

Implementation

DSDM assumes that all previous steps may be revisited as part of its iterative approach. Therefore, the current step needs to be completed only enough to move to the next step, since it can be finished in a later iteration. This premise is that the business requirements will probably change anyway as understanding increases, so any further work would have been wasted.

According to this approach, the time is taken as a constraint (i.e. the time is fixed) resources are fixed, while the requirements are allowed to change. This does not follow the fundamental assumption of making a perfect system the first time, but provides a usable and useful 80% of the desired system in 20% of the total development time. This approach has proved to be very useful under time constraints and varying requirements.