Integration with other systems and services traditionally occurs at the end of a development life cycle, but rapidly developed applications are integrated almost immediately. The RAD framework was introduced by technology consultant and author James Martin in 1991, who recognised and took advantage of software’s infinite malleability to design development models. RAD was a precursor to agile project management, becoming increasingly popular with agile businesses looking for methods that keep pace with their growing business and client needs. Focusing on rapid prototyping, release cycles and iterations over costly planning, rapid application development is driven by user feedback, rather than strict planning. Rapid Application Development is a feedback-centric approach to software development. RAD is a good method for fast-paced environments with experienced teams that have the budget for rapid application development tools, like low-code platforms and code generators.

what is rapid application development

This way the end product can reach the markets and its users faster. Explore the rapid application development method for faster software delivery and continuous iterations. But, there are several situations in which RAD may not be the best framework. In either of these situations, RAD may not be right for your team.

Rapid application development

Fewer surprises as, unlike the Waterfall method, RAD includes integrations early on in the software development process. Better risk management as stakeholders can discuss and address code vulnerabilities while keeping development processes going. User feedback in order to be able to iteratively improve on prototypes. Many businesses may not be able to secure user engagement throughout each stage of the project, meaning that iterations are subject to internal bias.

what is rapid application development

Integration is the vital part that decides the effective performance of the application. When it comes to Rapid Application Development, integrations occur from the very beginning. This helps to figure out the bugs and complications that arise out of this very early. Once the working model is developed, the developers do some final touches on it.


Kissflow can be used by a single person to work on developing an application. Rapid application development is particularly useful for small businesses that need a software done quickly, whilst having a lot of input during the development process. That doesn’t work well with larger teams, which can be inflexible and difficult to communicate with. Another difference to note is that, in RAD methodology, the primary method of calculating progress is to deliver functional prototypes as frequently as possible. But in Agile, progress is achieved by delivering a high-quality product at the time of delivery.

what is rapid application development

Many other development projects will have a long planning period in which they create detailed sprint projections and plans for the work ahead. Construction phase – focuses on program and application development task similar to the SDLC. In RAD, however, users continue to participate and can still suggest changes or improvements as actual screens or reports are developed. Its tasks are programming and application development, coding, unit-integration and system testing. The OnBase platform combines the ability to manage documents, processes and data. You can useemerging no-code platforms like Webflow to create stunning and easy to maintain websites.

What is Rapid Application Development?

The incorporation of testing throughout the project lifecycle improves the overall software quality, validating and refining requirements based on user feedback. RAD teams quickly create and share working prototypes, allowing businesses to review functionality earlier in the software life cycle. The frequent iterations and nature of feedback allow all aspects to be easily evaluated, enabling measurable progress that determine if schedules and budgets are on track.

  • Ultimately, this means that users can get a functioning product in less time.
  • Also, the recent pandemic is proof of how the way of life can change in a week/month time.
  • A huge bonus factor is when the app gets approved by stakeholders much faster.
  • There are also platforms that cover the entire Rapid Application Development process.
  • In this way, the RAD technique can be more flexible, stressing the quality of outcomes without imposing any significant rules.

A blog about software development best practices, how-tos, and tips from practitioners. RAD prevents software from failing entirely as the functionality of the software prototype is reviewed and tested during earlier delivery cycles. This approach reduces rework by encouraging the reusability of development components. Developers design the prototype and continuously refine it to incorporate client feedback until it meets expectations. Agile is different because it places a greater emphasis on the individuals doing the job and how they collaborate.

While it’s true that teams can and should talk to users throughout the entire lifecycle of software development, upfront thought and investment can save a lot of needless development down the road. Once the requirements have been set out, more like the project scope, the developers move on to the development of a working prototype application with just enough features and functions as fast as possible. This prototype design is developed according to the requirements stated in the first phase.

Rapid value, scalable functionality and tailored, content-enabled solutions – all from your in-house IT department

At the end of each sprint, new features are deployed and the backlog is groomed and re-prioritized. If you think RAD would be suitable for your product but feel like you cannot pull it out by yourself, there are digital product agencies to help you. They can take up the entire development process or assist you. Talk with your clients and understand their willingness to be a part of their process. If they aren’t ready, you need to reconsider choosing this developmental model. And, the feedback cycle brings in different perspectives and regular changes.

Adjustments can be made wherever required to maintain schedules and budgets. Want to learn about hiring a mobile app developer for your business needs? Our list of the top mobile app development companies and their features will help you narrow your search. Rapid Application Development empowers developers to develop quickly and iteratively, by prototyping advanced software in a modular way.

what is rapid application development

Unlike the Waterfall approach, RAD prioritizes applications and user input over rigid preparation and requirements information. Kissflow is an example of rapid application development’s latest century. It is a no-code system that allows everyone to create their ideal automatic system in minutes rather than days or weeks.

What is rapid application development and its benefits?

“RAD tool” and “Rapid Application Development Tool” redirect here. For development focused on making graphical user interfaces, see graphical user interface builder. Platforms like Embarcadero RAD Studio, Jmix, Ruby on Rails enable software engineers to use what is rapid application development higher-level API and code generation. Thus, repeating boilerplate code is avoided and developers can build software in a faster manner. Usually, the customer or client will also have an insight into each of these stages and play a more collaborative role.

Personal tools

You need to look into the above-mentioned and few other criteria to go ahead with RAD. While Rapid Application Development seems enticing and pursuable, as repeated throughout the blog, it requires expertise. It might be complicated to execute and manage the process well. Collective decision-making can avoid future controversies and miscommunications.

The rapid application development cycle begins with stakeholders defining a loose set of project requirements, equivalent to what would be accomplished during project scoping in traditional development cycles. This planning stage is brief – emphasizing a higher priority on prototype iterations – but critical to the ultimate success of a project. The prototyping and rapid construction phases may be repeated until the product owner and users are satisfied that the prototype and build meets the project requirements. Rapid Application Development , in essence, is an agile project development strategy that provides a super flexible and adaptable process to how you design and build software solutions.


As a result, the final outcome is more quality-focused and meets the end users’ needs. This is because most of the changes and iterations are discussed and implemented in the previous stage itself. Right after the deciding and defining, the prototyping begins.

They are able to flow between states of design, testing, and prototyping in order to build the best possible end result. Without rigid deadlines and sprints, too, the working process is much more manageable. One of the advantages of RAD is that it provides a flexible adaptable process. The ideal is to be able to adapt quickly to both problems and opportunities.

Feedback and reviews are crucial at this stage and most bugs, issues, and alterations are addressed during this stage. This stage can be particularly long, especially in cases where clients change directions or feedback is intensive. One thing the Rapid Application Development model promises over traditional software models is speed. But that’s not the only reason why developers should take it seriously.Read on to know more.

At this step, stakeholders in the software product come together and finalize the details of what the project will require. Quality of software is largely variable based on the features a software product offers and how they meet customer needs. Of course, rapid application development is fast, The entire model is based around this singular characteristic. The overall agenda behind RAD is to reduce the turnover time in a project.

The fluid process reaches the end goal in a sustainable and practicable way, allowing flux and change throughout the project. Ultimately, a great product is collaboratively made which brings satisfaction and serves a purpose for the client in question. The Waterfall Model, it is flexible and adaptive in nature, allowing consistent growth and progress throughout development iterations. If a device can be possibly enhanced and implemented incrementally, RAD solution can be used.

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