Rapid Application Development - Is it Really a Need of Today?

Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a software development methodology. In this competitive world, software product delivery time should be as little as it can be. The RAD is a way to this. As the name suggests, RAD technique allows RAPID application development, with development time, usually, 30 to 90 days.

Before touching upon the topic in details, I would like to make you feel that you are not away from this methodology. The code generators, visual tools like Visual Basic (VB) and Visual C++ (VC++), and CASE tools like Rational Rose are based on RAD technique. For e.g., you design your application with Rational Rose and it can then automatically generate code in languages like C++, VC++ or VB. If you have worked with tools like MS FrontPage then its again a RAD tool; you design your web-page layout and contents and HTML code will be automatically generated.

Previous paragraph brings out an important fact. Although, RAD will require early requirement specifications and it can be applied at design phase also but mostly it attacks the construction phase of the software development.

There many methods of RAD applied in software construction. There may be commercial or free functional libraries available that can cater to some functionality of your application. You need to simply link them to your application. At other times, re-usable code may be available that you can use with no or little modifications.

Above are not so appealing forms for RAD methodology. There are RAD tools that occupy the topmost position in this approach. Take the case of code generator RAD tools. The user needs to enter few customizable inputs to generate required code. For e.g. you need to generate a C code for printing numbers between 1 and 100 in steps of 5. So, just input START, END, STEP to the code generator and it will output C code.

#include main() {

int i;

for(i=START;i

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