Rapid Applications Development (RAD)

Posted: November 27th, 2013

Rapid Applications Development (RAD)
















According to research, Rapid Application Development is just a software application approach that applies reasonable organization in favor of rapid prototyping. This report therefore aims at describing and discussing details concerning the Rapid Application Development. It involves different structured techniques inclusive of data driven information engineering and prototyping techniques to promote the software systems development. For instance, research reveals that constructed tools are mainly applied to enhance the consumer’s needs and to develop the final system.  Consequently, the current technological advancements have led to the establishment of the Rapid Application Development as a part of the software development.















Rapid Applications Development (RAD)


Rapid Application Development is referred to as the development lifecycle that is designed in order to provide much faster development and high standard results than those provided by the traditional lifecycle. It is created to utilize maximally the advantage of powerful development software that has currently been established. Some researchers refer to Rapid Application Development as a method that leads to creating of computer systems, which puts together computer assisted software engineering equipments and techniques, user driven prototyping, and the powerful project delivery time limits into a reliable formula for high quality and productivity (Maner, 1997). This implies that rapid application development is important in increasing the quality of finished systems while at the same time reducing the time it takes to create them. It enhances development of quality products faster thus saving valuable recourses. According to research, Rapid Application Development in most cases embraces object oriented programming approaches, which mostly improve the re-use of software. For instance, C++, Java and object-oriented programming languages are mostly provided through visual programming packages often described as offering Rapid Application Development.

Use of Rapid Application Development in the Industry

Rapid Application Development uses the automated techniques and tools in order to recreate the process of creating information systems. For instance, it is noted that this system takes over other processes such as hand-design and coding processes, which are known to rely mostly on the knowledge and skills of specific people. Rapid Application Development is very stable, more capable and very fast with fewer errors than hand coding. It also ensures maximum satisfaction of the consumers through the provision of high standard products in a shorter time. For instance, in the process of reducing time between the user designs and cut-over, the system leads to the increase in the likelihood that the systems will meet the needs of the consumers satisfactorily than ever before.

According to Nambisan (2009), Rapid Application Development integrates directly the end users in the establishment of the application. Iterative prototyping demands that the team concerned with the development focuses more on delivering a series of fully functional prototypes to particular user experts. During this process, each prototype is first tested by those users and returned to the development team for reworking at which point the cycle repeats. The series of prototypes therefore evolves into the final product providing the consumers the chance to fine-tune the requirements and make a review of the resulting software implementation.

Rapid Application Development History

Rapid Application Development concept was initially introduced by Martin James in 1991 as a way of describing this type of software development process. His approach includes iterative development and the creation of prototypes. However, due the current technological advancements, the concept is currently being used in a more general sense that involves several methods targeted at speeding application development inclusive of different types of framework like web application frameworks.

The establishment of Rapid Application Development was a reaction to non-agile processes that had been established in the 1970s and 1980s (Andrew & Nachiappan, 2008). Examples of these processes include systems analysis and the water fall model. The major disadvantage of the previous approaches is that they were time consuming and thus were not able to meet the deadline of a particular task. This means that by the time the development of the software was completed, the system would be already out of date. Thus, as a result this could lead to inadequate and unusable systems. Before the implementation of Rapid Application Development, most organizations experienced high rates of maintaining the available systems where the systems had little documentation and were created with programming languages and database systems that proved to be very hard and time consuming. Therefore, each organization had the duty to keep on updating their systems or creating new applications and this was very costly.

Research shows that it is hard for the traditional applications to meet the current demands of the economy because they are slow and rigid. Therefore, due to this the Rapid Application Development was highly welcomed because it allowed the organization to create software applications faster, better and at a cheaper cost than it was with the previous applications.

Future Directions for Rapid Application Development

The future of the Rapid Application Development is predicted to be bright because most software development vendors as well as the information technology corporate are under the pressure of providing more quality products and at a faster rate. This is because a good number of surveys reveals that today’s level of achievement is very low and thus does not yet meet the demands and expectations of the consumers (Shelly, 2011). Today’s trend in businesses and organizations application development shows that people are increasingly demanding solutions that integrate well with both an organization and the distributors, consumers and other partners for strategic business processes.

According to Maurer& Martel (2002), Rapid Application Development may be linked up with computer aided software engineering techniques hence benefiting the consumers since the period for the software development will be greatly expedited. By integrating these applications, the process of analyzing the user needs will be faster and this will lead to consumer satisfaction due to quality development of applications. The Rapid Application Development is predicted to be an end-to-end application development foundation that provides support to both the traditional lower case software development life cycle and the upper case method for configuring and deploying processes in businesses especially in service-oriented architecture. With such a solution, there will be integration of browser-based access to code generation and test case generation (Guelfi & Buchs, 2007). Therefore, this means that there will be a completes access to the whole development infrastructures through the use of a browser hence greatly reducing complexity, costs, and potential driving paradigms shifts in businesses software application. Rapid Application Development is also predicted to have a great future in software application because of the ever-increasing awareness of system specifications. Therefore, it is assumed that it will provide its consumers an opportunity to participate in the establishment of application.

Comparing traditional methodology and rapid application development

Both traditional methodologies and the rapid application development are all used in delivering projects. Every method has its own benefits, although each method is more applicable for a certain project than the other.

Traditional Methodologies Rapid application development
Takes into consideration all steps for creating a product and is always organized. Examples of these steps include planning, designing, coding, and implementing. Creates an integrated application development periods to know better the needs of the consumer and choose on functionality for design and usability.
They are time consuming during the creation of a software application for the consumers. This technique tries to reduce the problem of time through its advanced approaches such as prototyping.
They do not involve the consumers in the process of building a software application process. Puts into consideration the needs of the consumer by ensuring that both the stakeholders of the system participate fully by meeting and discussing all the details inclusive of the design, look and feel.
Old methods such as hand coding and using human knowledge and skills are greatly applied. Uses approaches that deals with the current processes of an organization. For instance, it uses methods such as prototyping.
The system of the information is not separated and created as a whole. Identifies the urgent components that the company needs and develops them first and takes care of other components to finish the whole system.


Advantages and disadvantages

Rapid application development is known to be more flexible and adapts to any change very fast. It is also in position to deal with large quantities of projects without much struggle. In addition, it is able to reduce risks that may be feared to occur in a project. However, rapid application development cannot be applied in small projects because it needs a lot of resources and money in order to implement it. Moreover, it requires serious commitment of both the consumer and the developer in order to finish up the project lest it will not succeed. Sometimes these application may not be considered appropriate to some organizations hence high rates of risks.




Rapid Application Development has shown to be a very precious software strategy despite its shortcomings and risks. However, for it to successful, it needs the correct mix of methodologies, tools, personnel, and management. This means that its usage may depend on the complexity of the domain or application, the environment of the company, the skills and knowledge of the workers and management together with the existing architecture and infrastructure. By employing Rapid Application Development, products can be developed faster and of greater standards. This could be achieved through gathering the requirements using focus group discussions or seminars, re-using software components, and prototyping together with reiterating user testing of designs. Examples of the products for the Rapid Application Development includes the tools for gathering the requirements, tools for prototyping, and language development environments like java platforms, and testing tools. Therefore, it is important that people embrace this new technology in order to improve in the production processes within companies and organizations. This is because Rapid Application Development is vital in promoting the quality of finished systems as well as reducing the time it takes to create them. In addition, it enhances development of quality products faster thus saving valuable recourses.






Andrew, B., Nachiappan, N. (2008). “Usage and Perceptions of Agile Software Development in an Industrial Context: An Exploratory Study, Microsoft Research”. Retrieved 2008-11-15.

Guelfi, N., & Buchs, D.  (2007). Rapid integration of software engineering techniques.

New York, NY: Springer.

Maner, W. (1997). Rapid Application development. Retieved From: http://www.cs.bgsu.edu/maner/domains/RAD.htm

Maurer, S. & Martel, P. (2002). “Extreme Programming: Rapid Development for Web-Based Applications”. IEEE Internet Computing, 6(1) pp 86-91 January/February 2002.


Nambisan, S. (2009). Information Technology and Product Development. New York, NY: Springer.

Shelly, G. B. (2011). Systems Analysis and Design. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.

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