Month: February 2016

Software Development Life Cycle

development

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.

Website Development Process Explained

A website is a piece of software, which is developed for users on the World Wide Web. Ergo, like any other software, it has to go through a rigorous process. Some of the common models for web development are:

System Development Life Cycle
Prototyping Model
Rapid Application Development Model
UML Based Development Model

However, in most models, the process goes through almost identical phases. In some models two phases may be clubbed together to make one process. In others, it may be divided between two processes.

Steps in Developing a Website

Every company follows standard methodologies, modeling tools, framework, and languages for developing a website. Here are the prime designing steps that any website must go through.

Stage # 1 – Information Gathering
The first phase in this process is information gathering. It is also the most important one, as any miscommunication at this stage, hampers the entire process completely. At this stage, understanding the company and its activities is necessary. It will also include understanding the goals, dreams, target audience, and content of the company. Asking a number of questions at this stage is very important.

Even a small doubt about the exact requirements must be cleared at this stage. This will make sure that there are no mistakes in the end product. Along with information, the exact requirements will also have to be understood. Using this gathered information and requirements, the website will be developed.

Stage # 2 – Requirement Analysis
After the required information has been gathered, the next phase in this process is requirement analysis. A complete analysis of how the developed system is going to help and replace the existing one is carried out at this stage. At the same time, analysis also has to be carried out to see how the website is going to be amalgamated with the current system. The target audience of the website also needs to be taken into consideration. In case it’s a new website, you need to analyze the requirements to get an exact idea of what the finished product should look like.

Stage # 3 – Planning
The analysis should be able to come up with a cost-effective system. At this stage, the requirement analysis team can seek help from web designers, developers, and testers. This will help them come up with a realistic plan to execute the project. The site map for the website should be prepared at this stage. The entire website may have to be divided into topics and sub-topics. The division will prove to be useful for sorting the data that needs to be put up on the website.

At the same time, a plan can be chalked out for navigation through the system. The planning should consistently take the end users into consideration. The interface should be made in such a way, that navigation between the different pages and sections of the website is easy. The plan needs to also take different forms, pop-ups, and flash, e-commerce applications, etc., into consideration and arrange for them accordingly.

Stage # 4 – Design
After planning, we come to the website design phase. In this phase, the logo of the company, colors, background, etc., to be used in the website are taken into consideration. More than one prototype of the entire design will have to be created. The prototypes are normally shown to the client. The client approves one of the many prototypes and then further work can be carried out on the chosen design.

This is a crucial phase in the portal development process. The prototype has to match the requirement and liking of the client. It is best to work in close coordination with the client at this stage, so that it does not result in a problematic situation. The developer team will take database requirements into consideration at this stage. The design of the database will be simultaneously finalized.

Stage # 5 – Development
After the design has been approved, the real development process starts. The process normally starts with the development of the home page. There are prototypes or templates created for the other pages. All the required elements on the website are implemented at this stage. The developers will also work on database development at this stage.

Stage # 6 – Content Writing
Content is an important part of the website. It has to be so written, that the customers are attracted to the product or services offered by the company. Content development can be assigned to professional content developers. Their objective will be to develop original, informative, and relevant content.

Stage # 7 – Testing
Like any software, the website also has to go through a software testing life cycle. The testing for websites is more rigorous. The procedure has to take into consideration, the multi-user system, along with server requirements, etc. Web browser testing is also carried out to ensure that the website does indeed work in all browsers. Both automated and manual testing procedures are carried out on the system. After all the in-house tests have been carried out, real time testing of the website begins.

Stage # 8 – Delivery
After the final approval of the website, it is delivered. Normally the web development services also offer domain name registration, along with web hosting services. You may want to look for low-cost web hosting to lower the cost of the project. The site is uploaded on a web server and the last test is carried out. The last test ensures that all the necessary files have been uploaded and the site is fully functional.

Stage # 9 – Maintenance and Updating
This is an important step in the entire process. It is important to keep the website updated with new features. For which the website may have to go through the entire cycle again. In case of any problem, measures have to be taken to remedy it at the earliest.

After the development process is over, measures will have to be taken to increase website traffic. Different measures will also have to be taken, so that the website is included in the web directories, which will help it gain better traffic and deliver clientele. Website submission to different search engines may also be considered, as it will help in increasing traffic. This concludes our analysis of the entire design process.

Website Activity Logs Explained

An activity log is important for analyzing the user activities that occur on a website. It provides statistics which prove to be useful in tracking the performance of a website.

What is a Website Activity Log?
These are the records which are maintained, in order to keep track of visitors to a website. The errors that occur in site functionality are also recorded. Measuring the number of visitors to the website is the log’s most important function. These logs are maintained for a month or a quarter. They prove to be useful in understanding the trends in terms of Internet usage. The details that are recorded include the following:

Number of page views
Visiting time and date
Number of downloaded files
Referral source of the visitor

Analyzing the Logs
The analysis of website activity logs is carried out with the help of specialized software. The reports created with the help of these logs provide us with information about the average session length of time, along with other facts and figures like page views, visitor sessions, etc. Other information about the website activity includes the data about most popular landing pages, the passwords beings used, country of origin of visitors, popular referring sites, number of forms submitted, page and form errors, and popular keywords used by visitors, etc.

Based on the analysis carried out through activity logs, changes can be brought about in the website to suit the visitors’ interest. New features can be incorporated in the website on the basis of information about the demand or response from the visitors.

Advantages of Analyzing Log Files
The data used for analysis is obtained from log files or by the method of page tagging. Since the raw data is available in log files, one doesn’t have to make changes in the website, in order to collect data through page tagging. The information about visits from search engine crawlers is also stored in log files. Search engine optimization is carried out with the help of this information. Additional domain name system (DNS) lookups are not required for log files. Thus, the problem of external server calls affecting the page load speeds doesn’t occur in this case.

Tracking Web Activity
The practice of monitoring web traffic is considered to be important for making the required changes on the basis of usage patterns of the visitors. One can monitor Internet activity and keep a track of the traffic sent by ‘other websites’. The ‘other websites’ could be those of alliance partners, blogs, etc. Strengthening the partnership with websites which redirect their traffic to your website becomes possible by learning how to track the website activity. It help us understand how to increase web traffic.

The new field of web analytics has grown, as Internet usage has risen over the years. It includes the activities of collecting and analyzing data in order to understand and optimize web usage. On-site and off-site are the two types of web analytics. The visitor’s activity on your own website is monitored with the help of on-site analytics. Performance of the website in commercial terms is analyzed in this type of analytics. In off-site analytics, web measurement, and analysis is carried out, irrespective of whether the site is owned or not. The visibility, comments, and potential audience of a website are measured and analyzed in off-site analytics.

How to Track Website Visitors

The advent of the Internet has ushered instant access and connectivity to individuals, and information at a click of the mouse. This technology has enabled users across the globe to establish contact with one another in an instant, and this could be to promote business or on a personal level. However, along with the excitement of attracting website visitors and profitable website hits is the need to track website visitors. Anonymity comes easily to users of the technology, and so does pseudo identity. This does get to the individual and the online businesses that are part of the online community, at some time or the other.

It hardly matters if you are a journalist, blogger, or any regular user of technology, the need to track visitors is undeniable. You could be a person exploring trends, with the intent of becoming productive, but how can you be safeguarded from the scrupulous attempts to sabotage and misuse the personal information you fed online. Today, with the increase in cybercrime, there is technology and software marketed within a dedicated resource base that ensures the timely tracking and sifting of web traffic.

There are quite a number of ways that are now applicable for tracking trends and popular resources online, while keeping a record of website users and website hits. The software available offers access to web traffic based on a dedicated and established user population. The resultant dynamic graph enables you to compare different sites for traffic. The software also allows you to view the websites that have attracted most traffic. This facilitates an Internet trend that helps to track website visitors and website hits. Then, there are blog search engines that enable you access to popular webpages, tag pages, and a trend graph.

Popular webpages helps you access popular videos, news, and books, while tag pages showcase popular tags by the hour. This facilitates you to track posts tagged by bloggers and view a search result trend graph. This, in turn, results in tracking the number of surfers and hits on your website. Viewing the page rank also enables you to assess the external pages linked to the page you are on, which depends on the quantity of the inbound links. This is also helpful to judge if the content is worthwhile or not. You should also stay abreast of the latest developments within the industry, by accessing the latest news updates within the technology industry.

Another way of understanding track records regarding the hits on your website is by identifying several regularly updated websites with ‘feeds’. You can optimize your attempt by subscribing to their feed with the help of your feed reader. You can record them simultaneously, but remember to downsize the number of subscriptions. Alternatively, you could also categorize the feed into ‘trend watching’ and ‘miscellaneous’. In this attempt to follow website visitors, it is important to maintain a low noise-to-signal ratio. It has now become imperative to try out every possible method to keep a track of website hits and misses, while at the same time its visitors.

As every problem comes with its own unique solution, so does the scrupulous use of the Internet technology. A little caution and regular updates and research go a long way in keeping you well informed about the recent developments within the industry. You can now minimize the risk you or your business run via exposure to the outsourcing of vital data and personal information by keeping a track of website users.