There are three types of Relational Database Application Life Cycle Models. In each model there are seven steps in the life cycle. The purpose of the Life Cycle is to provide an overall framework for the Database Design Process. The Life Cycle supports the database design process by offering a broad strategy overview of the development effort. In short, the Life Cycle is high level and the Database Design Process “goes into the weeds”. The Life Cycle is used to support the resulting database by giving a framework for maintenance sustainment and process improvement.
The three types of Life Cycle Models that exist are the Waterfall, the Spiral, and the Incremental/Evolutionary Development. Within these three models the steps used and the order in which they are used can vary. The Waterfall uses in the following order System/Requirements Analysis, Design, Plan & Budget, Build, Test, Release, and End Project. In the Spiral model, after Project Commencement, the steps Analysis, Design, Plan & Budget, Build, Test, Release are repeated until Project Completion. Finally, a variation of the Spiral model exists in the Incremental/ Evolutionary Development model. This model consists of Preliminary Analysis, Architectural Design, and Component Spiral. Within the Component Spiral are the Detailed Design, Plan and Budget, Build, Integrate, Test, and Release steps.
Each of these Life Cycle Models provides an overarching paradigm in which the Database Design Process, consisting of five steps that happen at least once within one or multiple steps of the life cycle, develops. The system parameters are defined by stating the “why”, “what”, and “how” of the system. The database workflow processes are defined by understanding the storage, retrieving, and usage of data. A conceptual data model is constructed, in order to define data usage for the entire system and provide a description of how the work processes interact with the data. Also, a database schema is prepared that translates the data model concept into physical data architecture. A user interface is also designed to ensure a user-friendly database and to help detect ongoing database problems.
The life cycle is used to support the resulting database management system maintenance sustainment and process improvement in a number of ways. The data is continually analyzed in different ways as the system continues. Ongoing, support and maintenance is a factor of the budget. Further testing, design updates, and integration occur in the database’s life cycle in order to update and improve the system. Then, lastly, before the database is phased out, the information learned from the system in incorporated into the improved system.