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Software Development 101: Architectures, Approach, and more

Parth Bari
Nothing is Impossible
・7 min read

Software is often written in response to real-world problems that organizations discover through market analysis. It may seem an easy task for many people to read a set of requirements and interpret them in technology. But, on the contrary, it takes much planning and a synchronized development approach to deliver high-end software solutions.

Source: Worldwide IT enterprise software spending 2009-2022 | Statista

According to Statista, IT spending on software development is bound to grow at 10.8% to reach $517 billion by the end of 2021. Spending heavy on your software development will not make sense if you are not getting the right ROI. 

Especially with the need for remote collaboration during a widespread pandemic, the reliance on software has increased. So, if you are trying to develop software for maximum ROI, here is everything you need to know. 

#Types of Software

When it comes to software development, there are two primary considerations,

  • Off-the-shelf software
  • Custom software

Off-the-shelf software is a ready-made product that you can purchase from the market. It is ready to use, and there is no scope of personalization or any major tweak according to your business requirements. Take an example of software for data recovery, which is not specific for any business and can be used by anyone to recover data lost. 

Other examples of such software are,

  • MS office
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Windows 10 OS
  • Norton Antivirus
  • TurboTax
  • SAP
  • Oracle

Custom software is developed to cater to specific business requirements or even for individual usage. Take an example of HR that wants a reliable solution for the payroll system in an organization. 

As HR policies for each organization differ, and that is the reason custom software will be the perfect solution. Customization needs insight into an organization’s needs, which is why custom software fits the bill, as it can have specific features. 

Examples of custom software are, 

  • CRM 
  • CMS
  • ERP
  • Automated invoicing.
  • Web portals.
  • E-commerce software solutions
  • Bug tracking software

Once you know what type of software your organization wants to develop, the development approach takes center stage. So, Let's understand different approaches for software development. 


When it comes to the development approach, there are many different options for any organization, but the choice depends on the project’s scale and requirement. So, let’s look at some software development approach that you can use.

Agile Methodology

One of the most popular approaches recently among many enterprises has been agile methodology. It works quite the opposite of a waterfall approach and has several incremental iterations. Agile explores software development, outsourcing decisions in a phased manner where the first iterations are like a beta version or MVP(Minimum Viable Product).

Source: Most 5 Valuable Benefits of Agile Methodology | Blog – Denysys Corporation

Every iteration is created with the inclusion of feedback from the preceding version. So, the final version of the software has most of the problems already taken care of. Here, the iterative approach reduces the risk of catering a half-baked product to customers. 

RAD(Rapid Application Development)

Rapid Application Development is designed to be fast. So, if you are looking for a quicker time-to-market, RAD is what you should choose. It leverages the rapid development process and makes sure that everything is swift. It involves four stages,

  • Planning
  • User design
  • Software Building
  • Switchover

Source: Most 5 Valuable Benefits of Agile Methodology | Blog – Denysys Corporation

For the RAD approach, you will need highly skilled developers, and that is why outsourcing can be a good option. However, the outsourcing decision depends on the project’s scale, so it is not ideal for small-scale development. 

DevOps Deployment Methodology

DevOps is not a software development approach in the traditional sense but a series of activities that help sustain the organizational goal throughout the process. The DevOps architecture focuses on an operational point-of-view and enables reliable collaborations between different teams responsible for development lifecycle activities like development, QA, and even testing. 

DevOps is also a great way to handle software development in the age of Big data. You can leverage big data analytics for improvement in the efficiency of DevOps and in turn software development. 

FDD(Feature-Driven Development)

FDD is a feature-based approach where the first phase includes the creation of a wireframe model. Next is to create a list of features that your software will have, and then start building each feature. The software is like a suite of different features developed to offer an enhanced experience. 

These are just a few examples of the many different approaches that you can use for software development. However, the right approach needs to be backed up by correct architecture to create high-quality software. So, let’s discuss some of the architecture patterns that you can use for software development.  


N-tier Architecture

One of the most popular software architectures used by many organizations is n-tier or layered architecture. Here, the code is structured so that once the data enters the top layers, it moves through each layer until reaching the bottom or database. Each layer is programmed for specific tasks, like reformatting the data values or even checking the consistency of data flow. 

MVC is an example of n-tier or layered architecture where there are three layers- Model, View, and Controller. The model part deals with the data side, while the view part deals with the representation layer or user interface. The controller acts as a trigger between model and view to make an effective connection. Such architecture is easily maintainable and reduces downtime. 

Event-driven Architecture

Event-driven architecture makes the software experience seamless. Everyone is privy to loading pages, and you might be annoyed by waiting for a function to execute even after clicking several times. Here, the problem lies with the execution of the event or a user request. As organizations scale, there is a surge in traffic, and that is where event-driven architecture helps.

Here, you can create a central unit that delegates each request as an “event” and then is sent to execute different modules in software architecture. So, parallel event execution is solved, and there is a seamless experience for users. Such architecture needs high-end programming to reduce the overhead and offer lower downtime, which becomes a significant factor to outsource development. 

Microservice Architecture

Microservice architecture is a suite of small and independent services that create a suite of responses for each user request. The best thing about this architecture is mutually independent services. So, while you are updating one service, it does not hinder the execution of other services in the architecture resulting in lower disruption. 

Take an example of Netflix, where each service says smart download, recommended titles, favorite titles, or even top recommendations as per your region, acts as a suite. But, all of these services seem to be from different websites. The sync of the Netflix interface makes it look like a constellation of best streaming services. 

Signing Off

Software development is getting more exciting with each innovation, and new development approaches adopted by organizations. For example, cloud-native software development has been gaining traction during the recent pandemic due to remote capabilities. 

There is no end to the use cases for which software development can be used. However, the decision-maker for one’s software development approach or architecture will always remain aligned with business requirements. 

Discussion (1)

olgagalikua profile image
Olga Galik

thank you for an overview. Btw, check out how to use Agile methodology right to build successful startups.

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