The 7 stages of application lifecycle management (ALM)

  • Last Updated : December 20, 2023
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  • 4 Min Read

ALM (application lifecycle management) is a framework for managing the entire lifecycle of an application, from its conception to its retirement. Just like running a well-oiled machine, managing the life of an app is by no means easy, but solid ALM software can go a long way in helping organizations keep their apps in check. Now let's dive in to the different steps of ALM!

Stages of application lifecycle management

stages of alm

Planning and requirements

Applications are built to serve a purpose, hence defining the requirements of the application, including its direction and critical constraints, is essential for the management of the lifecycle of any application.

This stage is critical, as it sets the foundation for the entire software development process, ensuring that the app meets the needs of end users and the business. Information about the functional and technical specifications, marketing and business requirements, and stakeholder goals is gathered. This is generally done through interviews, surveys, and focus groups, after which the requirements are documented, with the most important ones addressed first.

Development

This stage involves designing, building, and coding the application, including managing the source code and ensuring that it's properly versioned and controlled. The development stage determines the quality of the application and how well it meets the requirements defined in the planning stage.

Selecting the relevant development methodology is essential in this stage, be it Agile, waterfall, or DevOps. Code review, testing, and continuous integration and delivery are also done, to ensure that the application is of high quality and meets the needs of end users.

Software configuration management (SCM)

SCM aims to control changes introduced to large complex software systems through reliable version selection and version control. Here, strategies are branched and merged, code is reviewed, and continuous integration is done to ensure that the source code is properly managed and controlled throughout the software development process. Using different tools and techniques—such as version control systems, build automation, and release management—contributes to a seamless SCM process.

Testing

This key feature characterizes ALM and distinguishes it from traditional project management. In this stage, the application is tested to ensure that it meets the requirements and specifications defined in the planning stage, while identifying and tracking defects and issues.

Testing is important, as it helps to ensure high quality applications that meet the needs of end users. Depending on the application, appropriate types of testing, such as unit testing, integration testing, system testing, and acceptance testing are done.

It's crucial to ensure that the application meets the requirements and specifications defined in the planning stage. To do this, thorough testing measures like test automation, test coverage, and defect tracking are run.

Deployment

After testing, we move on to deploying the application to the production environment. Managing the deployment process and ensuring that it's properly documented is quite important, as it determines how well the application performs in the production environment. This directly impacts how well it meets the needs of end users. Deployment strategies, such as blue-green deployment, canary deployment, and rolling deployment are used in this stage, depending on the nature of the application.

Operations and maintenance

Maintenance is important to ensure that an app continues to serve its purpose. Techniques such as incident management, problem management, and change management are deployed to ensure that the apps are performing as expected. Monitoring, logging, and alerting are set up to ensure that everything goes according to plan in the production environment.

Documentation and knowledge management

Documenting the application and its processes is equally as important as managing the knowledge related to the application—from its design, development, and testing to its deployment and maintenance. This stage is critical, as it helps to ensure that the knowledge related to the application is properly managed and controlled.

In this part of ALM, the usage of multiple types of documentation—such as user manuals, technical documents, and release notes—are done. Knowledge management, such as creating a knowledge base, conducting training sessions, and sharing best practices, are used to ensure that the knowledge related to the application is properly managed and controlled.

How is low-code beneficial to ALM?

Low-code technology is based on abstraction, where it reduces the complexities involved in app development and enables developers to built apps with minimal hand coding via a drag-and-drop visual interface. This reduces time to market and accelerates the development process.

Low-code’s agile methods are quite beneficial to your business’ ALM efforts, since it allows teams to adapt quickly to changing requirements and user feedback. Low-code tools also simplify collaboration between cross-functional teams, fostering better communication and integration across the entire ALM process. Additionally, low-code platforms provide automated testing and validation capabilities, ensuring higher quality code and reducing the risk of defects.

All of the above factors can prove crucial to businesses aiming to thrive in this fast-paced business landscape. Low-code provides exactly that—an invaluable tool that promotes speed, collaboration, and quality, ultimately resulting in successful ALM efforts.

Zoho Creator

If you're in search of an all-in-one solution to automate your business processes, check out Zoho Creator. It's a user-friendly and cost-effective low-code platform that provides developers, regardless of their expertise, with the necessary tools for smooth application lifecycle management (ALM). Through a well-planned ALM strategy, software development teams can create, deliver, and manage complex software more easily through every stage.

Explore More about Low-Code Now

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  • Stephen

    Stephen is a product marketer at Zoho Creator. An avid writer, he plies his trade evangelizing low-code during the day and pens songs at night. Sneakerhead and sushi enthusiast too.

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