software life cycle
integration and system testing
acceptance testing and release
operation and maintenance
Such a breakdown tends to obscure several important aspects of software production, notably the inevitable need for iteration around the various life-cycle activities in order to correct errors, modify decisions that prove to have been misguided, or reflect changes in the overall requirements for the system. It is also somewhat confusing to treat operation and maintenance as just another life-cycle phase since during this period it may be necessary to repeat any or all of the activities required for initial development of the system. There has therefore been a gradual movement toward more sophisticated models of the software life cycle. These provide explicit recognition of iteration, and often treat the activities of the operation and maintenance period simply as iterations occurring after rather than before release of the system for operational use. See also spiral model, V-model, waterfall model.
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