February 08, 2021

Advantages and Disadvantages of RAD Methodology

Understand the importance of a rapid development model and learn the pros and cons of rapid application development before considering RAD in a software application development process.

Rapid Application Development (RAD) is an incremental model. It was presented as an efficient, more collaborative, faster, and seamless way to build applications from the design phase to deployment. The rapid development model has more advantages than other traditional methods, but its shortcomings must also be considered.

Explosive growth ahead: Global rapid application development market set to soar

Research & Market reports that the Global Rapid Application Development Market is projected to grow at a rate of 42.6% between 2021 and 2026. 

The growth of the market is attributed to the advantages of other development models, such as constantly changing requirements, encouraging and preferred customer feedback and less time between prototyping and repetition. During the electronic revolution of business, the software development life cycle suppressed most business processes and market needs, RAD became an important component for fast, dynamic and responsive businesses. 

This blog aims to help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of the RAD methodology in the software development process. This will help you make informed choices about whether or not to use them in your application development process.

What is Rapid Application Development?

Rapid application development is an agile approach that focuses on continuous repetition and prototyping. RAD is a repetitive software development model that relies less on adherence to a fixed plan and more on the work development of ongoing software projects. 

It is user feedback-centric and allows you to include usage-based updates instead of a rigorous development plan. The RAD model is based on prototyping without any specific planning.

This model allows developers to quickly perform multiple iterations and updates to the software without restarting the development schedule from scratch. 

Let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the RAD model in detail.

Advantages of RAD methodology

One of the major advantages of the RAD model in software engineering is the short duration of system development. 

The Rapid Application Development model offers many advantages to the development process. The following are some advantages of Rapid Application Development: 

Time Benefits – Reduction in development time.

  1. High speed is one of the primary features of the RAD model. 
  2. You can create faster iterations that reduce the time frame to streamline your delivery process.
  3. Because the Rapid Application Development model uses CASE (computer-aided software engineering) technology to automate critical aspects of the RAD lifecycle, the product can be delivered quickly.

Productivity – Fast reviews add to productivity.

  1. A dedicated team appointed as a ‘user board’ reviews the prototype before the final product to help the client and the developer.
  2. Quick reviews can be done, leading to enhanced productivity with fewer people and shorter timelines.

Flexibility – Help adopt quicker change implementation.

  1. The RAD method provides increased flexibility as developers could adapt to necessary changes and add new functionality and features during the build process.
  2. Because it is flexible to make changes, RAD Paradigm makes it easy for users to provide feedback, which the SWAT team can then apply in code.

Reuse – One of the main advantages of the Rapid Application Development model is that it focuses on the reuse of code, templates, tools, and processes.

  1. Prototypes can be reused in the same project or for a different project.
  2. Due to code generators and code reuse, manual coding has declined.
  3. Improves the reusability of components
  4. Reuse of components across projects saves time and cost.
  5. You can integrate at an early stage and reuse the code at any time, resulting in less trial time.

ROI – Proper handling of the RAD process can save on cost in the long run. ROI stands as one of the key advantages of the RAD model in software engineering.

  1. Many software developers and engineers are quickly upgrading their skills to become multi-subject professionals, such as full-stack developers.
  2. Development teams can use RAD to quickly build prototypes and code, which typically take weeks or months to complete.

Customer Satisfaction – RAD facilitates customer feedback, and the final product satisfies all stakeholders.

  1. RAD relies on customer cooperation and brings value to each stakeholder, such as users, developers, and clients.
  2. Customers are involved in the RAD model from the beginning of the life cycle and can view working prototypes and provide input.
  3. Each step in the RAD provides the client with the highest priority functionality.

High-quality deliverables – Quick initial reviews add value.

  1. RAD employs highly experienced and efficient staff, resulting in timely delivery and high-quality products.
  2. Regular user involvement throughout the product life ensures that the product is of excellent quality. Constructive feedback from key stakeholders contributes to the quality of the outcome.
  3. The user reviews each prototype, which helps to detect any serious defects.
  4. The use of scripts, high-level abstractions, and intermediate codes makes delivery easy.

Incorporating valuable feedback from business stakeholders and end-users is central to the Rapid Application Development process. User feedback helps refine and target your big idea so that it meets the needs of your business and satisfies your customers.

Reduced Errors   Prototypes guarantee fewer flaws.

  1. Due to the nature of the prototyping, there is less chance of defects.
  2. Prototypes can also help detect any potential threats. 
  3. The iterative approach helps reveal bugs and logical flaws in SDLC.

Risk – Modelling and automation ensure no break in codes.

  1. Enhances End-Product Risk Management. RAD offers enhanced risk management solutions because code vulnerabilities are determined before the final release.
  2. RAD is useful when you want to reduce overall project risk.

Besides the several advantages of RAD stated above, you may want to consider if any of its disadvantages limit practising the process.  

Disadvantages of RAD methodology

While looking into the advantages and disadvantages of the RAD methodology, you should assess development needs in the project hand before you adopt the RAD process. 

Though the RAD model is flexible and user-friendly, it has some demerits, too, especially if you do not have the perfect team for it:

Timeboxing – Possibility of deferred features.

  1. Rapid Application Development uses timeboxing, in which certain features are pushed to future versions to create a product in a shorter period. As a result, the product may be less characteristic than products made using traditional methods.

Coordination challenges – Managing multiple stakeholders can be challenging.

  1. The Rapid Application Development process requires close cooperation among all stakeholders involved in the project. Most crucially, the role of management becomes critical.
  2. It requires the joint efforts of many people and departments. If left unmanaged, they can be left astray and lose focus.
  3. Faster application development requires customer input at multiple stages, making the process much more complex than other methods.
  4. It requires all stakeholders to be on the same page at all times, which can prove to be challenging. 

Scalability – RAD lacks measurement in the final result.

  1. The results can be measured when an entire application is developed from scratch rather than a prototype.
  2. One of the major disadvantages of RAD is that scalability decreases when applications begin as prototypes and develop into completed applications.

Dependency – Rapid Application Development requires customer feedback.

  1. Customers are involved in the RAD process from the beginning of the product’s life cycle.
  2. If the client is unavailable at the time of critical decision-making or unable to make a timely decision, the quality and speed of product development may be affected.

Needs Skilled Developers – Rapid Application Development requires a skilled team of developers/designers. 

  1. A strong team and individual performance are both essential. Rapid Application Development requires talented developers to revise and update the code during the development process as they quickly understand every aspect of the project.
  2. The Rapid Application Development process promotes a small team of about 4-5 members and demands excellent quality and speed in the final output. 
  3. To accomplish this, all team members must be highly skilled and knowledgeable about the tools they use.

Open Tasks – The model leaves several issues unaddressed.

  1. If you have a large team comprising inexperienced developers, problems with task organizing and code documentation issues can arise.
  2. In the absence of proper documentation, it becomes difficult to track progress and solve problems.
  3. Due to the reusability of heavy components, the code needs additional resources for maintenance and health.

Project Limitations – RAD is not favourable to all types and sizes of projects.

  1. The RAD model is generally only suitable for projects that need to be developed and delivered quickly.
  2. Furthermore, not all applications are compatible with RAD.
  3. If developers are not committed to providing the software on time, RAD projects may fail.
  4. It can only create modularized projects.
  5. It is best for small and medium-sized projects (measured in development time.)
  6. The RAD model is not very effective for systems that are not modular.

Increased Cost – Cost is the key determinant when examining the pros and cons of the RAD model. In general, Rapid Application Development is not suitable for low-cost projects.

  1. The need for automated tools and modelling costs restricts RAD for small-scale projects. 

Risk prone – RAD is not suitable when technical risk is high.

  1. It is difficult to achieve rapid perfection in prototyping for tech-focused projects.

After comparing the advantages and disadvantages of RAD, you will need to analyze your requirements and current development team to determine whether this methodology is suitable for you.

When to use RAD methodology

To develop a project from design to launch efficiently, software needs strong development models. Rapid Application Development was created to quickly build prototypes to test functionality and features without worrying about how the final product would be affected. 

You can gain key insights from the advantages and disadvantages of RAD discussed above. The RAD approach is widely used to create apps as fast as possible. Using PaaS (platform-as-a-service model) and containers as part of RAD, development teams can work faster and smarter while reducing server and infrastructure needs for the cloud development environment.

The RAD model can significantly benefit your development process. You make sure your team is able and willing to collaborate and work extensively to ensure that your prototypes are efficiently built and tested.

You also need to be ready to implement newer approaches based on client feedback.

The RAD model works best when your business budget, needs, and objectives meet all the repetitive and constantly changing processes. Some ideal case scenarios for RAD are:

  1. When requirements are not known in advance.
  2. When a system needs to be built in a short period, say 2-3 months.
  3. When the end-user is involved in the entire life cycle of the project.
  4. When the technical risk is minor and can be handled quickly and easily.
  5. When there is a need to build a system that can be modulated in a short period (i.e., 2-3 months).

DronaHQ is a professional Rapid Application Development tool that helps countless enterprises create secure, responsive, and feature-rich apps, ensuring unmatched quality that meets your unique needs and budget.

How DronaHQ enables Rapid Application Development 

Although RAD relies heavily on modelling capabilities and involves a high cost of modelling, automated code development is used to develop high-quality products in less time.

The main development work is often entrusted to techies. However, fast development tasks like creating internal tools, admin panels, portals, dashboards, automation, database apps, custom apps, approval queues, and much more need to be assigned.

DronaHQ is a state-of-the-art application development solution that facilitates the quality of the best software development methods for quickly and accurately building enterprise-grade applications. High productivity optimization overcomes the disadvantages of traditional RAD. DronaHQ RAD provides a development environment for the creation of prototyping, testing and refining. It enables you to create easy-to-understand visual models and simplifies the cutover phase of implementation, testing, integration, and maintenance.

Thus, it is recommended that you make maximum use of DronaHQ. It’s thoughtfully designed building blocks have made it possible to create challenging internal apps for mobile or the web 10 times the speed of traditional methods. You can create an attractive UX by selecting a variety of screens to define navigation and configuring a pixel-perfect responsive layout. The tool allows you to drag and drop powerful controls from a vast list of 100+ built-in options. 

With guaranteed security in development, DronaHQ lets you query and bind all your data sources on request as soon as your application is called. The DronaHQ platform enables you to connect to databases, custom APIs, and third-party apps without leaving your server.

Get in touch with DronaHQ today to know more about its capabilities. 

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