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Throw-away/Rapid Prototyping in Software Development | Software Engineering

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rapid prototypingRapid or Throw-away Prototyping in Software Development,
Software Engineering Notes | Sixth Semester,
BSc.CSIT | Tribhuvan University (TU)

Throw-away prototyping or Rapid prototyping
Throw-away prototype is a prototype which is usually a practical implementation of the system and is produced to help discover requirement problems and then discarded. After preliminary requirements gathering is accomplished, a simple working model of the system is constructed to visually show the users what their requirements may look like when they are implemented into a finished system. The system is then developed using some other development process.

The objective of throw-away prototyping is to validate or derive the system requirements. The prototyping process starts with those requirements which are poorly understood.

The most obvious reason for using throwaway prototyping is that it can be done quickly. If the users can get quick feedback on their requirements, they may be able to refine them early in the development of the software. Making changes early in the development life-cycle is extremely cost effective since there is nothing at that point to redo.

It is asserted that rapid prototyping is a more effective manner in which to deal with user requirements related issues, and therefore a greater enhancement to software productivity overall.

Main points of Rapid/Throw-away prototyping

  • The prototype is developed from an initial specification, delivered for experiment then discarded.
  • Used to reduce requirements risk.
  • The throw-away prototype should not be considered as a final system.
  • Some system characteristics may have been left out.
  • There is no specification for long-term maintenance.
  • The system will be poorly structured and difficult to maintain.
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