Software Prototype

What is software prototype?

You must be aware of beta testing software. For example, you are been asked to play a game before it is fully uploaded by the developer in order to check the gaps between the game. This is beta testing and in other terms it is also known as software prototype. Using this way, the developer gets a clear idea of what the end product would look like. Software prototype is defined as a paradigm of software applications with limited functions. Software prototyping refers to the creation of prototypes with curbed functions that allows the process of software testing.

Benefits of software prototypes

  • The prototypes give the programmer a clear idea about how the final software is going to look like.
  • These software prototypes allows the programmer take feedback from the users so as to avoid flaws and increase the usability of the software.

The process of prototyping has the following steps

  1. Diagnose basic needs: The first and foremost step of software prototyping. This gives the programmer little idea about what exactly has to be done.
  2. Creation of prototype: This step includes the designing and coding those results in the development of a prototype of the software.
  3. Get the feedback: The third step of software prototyping is getting the feedback from potential users.
  4. Updating the prototype: This step consists of revising the prototype as per the feedbacks of users and enhances the functionality of the software.

Dimensionally software prototyping is of two types: Vertical prototyping and horizontal prototyping.

Horizontal prototyping: This prototyping consists of a user based interface prototype. The major functions of horizontal prototyping are:

  • It testifies the requirements and the scope of system.
  • Flaunts the software to bring in revenue.
  • It provides the programmer a clear idea about cost, time and effort related estimations.

Vertical prototyping: The vertical prototyping is more elaborated form of the prototype. It has the following benefits:

  • It refines the design of database.
  • It helps to formulate the complex needs of users.
  • It helps to attain data information and needs.

Types of prototyping

There are many types of prototyping which are as follows:

Throwaway prototyping: This kind of prototyping is also known with the names "Rapid prototyping" or "Close ended prototyping. As the name suggests the prototype is discarded or thrown away and in no way part of final software. This involves creation of a model of software at initial stages. The steps included in throw away prototyping are as follows:

  1. Noting down the basic needs.
  2. Prototype designing
  3. Usage of prototype by the users to generate the feedbacks.
  4. Repeating
  5. Noting the final needs

Evolutionary prototyping: It is also known as breadboard prototyping. This type of prototyping allows a continuous updating of the software's according to the needs. A continuous evolution can be seen in such a prototyping method

Incremental prototyping: In such a prototyping method several prototypes are created initially and are merged in the final stages. By this method the time gap can be successfully managed.

Extreme prototyping: This prototyping is usually used for the creation of web applications.