Application lifecycle management (ALM) is a software engineering and project management philosophy that connects the people, tools, and processes that manage the life cycle of an application from concept to execution and from there to maintenance, and finally retirement.
It also brings in ideas from several humanities topics and amalgamates them with ideas of core science and engineering.
ALM has evolved over a while from being strictly a software discipline to a subject that needs to be given predominance over many of the core business considerations.
Software First Approach
This also helps organizations drive their business with the Software-First process. The Software-First Approach essentially means that various organization workflows are delivered with software With all aspects of business functioning aided by technology, a new emerging business principle is called Software First. Organizations are first trying to get technology right and then adapting business workflows to the technology. Slowly organizations are realizing that instead of creating software that suits the business, it's best to first follow the ALM approach and see whether business processes are compliant.
A requirements study following exact practices followed in Software Development is also the first step in Business Process Re-engineering.
4 Pillars of ALM
We broadly divide different aspects of Application Life Cycle Management into 4 Pillars. And they are....
The process of making decisions about an application is referred to as application governance. The creation of a business case, in which the concept of the app is connected to a strategic corporate objective, is the first step in the governance process. Aspects of governance include resource management, data security, and user access. Application portfolio management is useful in situations where a corporation has a lot of apps.
Application Development The process of designing computer software or a collection of applications to carry out the various functions that a business needs is the next step.The planning, developing, building, testing, and deployment of a software application to carry out various business tasks is known as application development, commonly referred to as app development. Either a single independent developer or sizable corporations with vast teams working on projects can carry it out. Application development outlines the steps involved in creating an application and often adheres to a set approach.
The process of developing an application is influenced by numerous factors. You must take into account the scope of the project, the level of detail in the specifications, the likelihood that the customer will request changes, and the size of the development team.
Application Operations The third part of ALM is operations. Operations comprise the software's deployment and maintenance of the technology stack. In waterfall development, operations comes after development. Operations and development are combined into a smooth, continuous process by DevOps, which is an important pillar to the ALM story.
Testing and Maintenance
Testing and maintenance are essentially part of the final pillar. While testing as a practice would be integral to all phases, modern ALM dictates continuous testing of all aspects of applications. There is also stress on performance monitoring and security testing with consistent practice of Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing(VAPT).
Applications under maintenance are also reviewed periodically and cross-checked against changes.