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Difference between RAD Model and Waterfall Model

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The waterfall model is a linearly sequential life cycle model of software development in which software testing is carried out after all coding steps have been completed. This is the most fundamental distinction between the waterfall model and the RAD model. Rapid Application Development (RAD), on the other hand, uses an incremental approach to software development. Learn more about the waterfall model, the RAD model, and how they differ from one another by reading this article.

Waterfall Model

The waterfall Model is also known as the Classical or Traditional Model. Sometimes It is referred to as the linear-sequential life cycle model because all phases involved in this model are completed one by one linearly. In this model, we get software after the completion of all coding phases. This model is used for small projects. There exist only one cycle in the waterfall model. 

Waterfall model 

RAD Model

RAD model stands for Rapid Application Development and it is the type of Incremental Model. It can’t handle large projects but it can handle small projects as well as medium projects. In the RAD model, any changes can be made at any stage but in the waterfall, it can’t happen.

Planning at the initial phases of development is not necessary using the RAD approach of software development. The quick development of the application is the RAD model’s main objective. For development, the RAD paradigm requires a small team size. The RAD approach also allows for any adjustments to be made at any time. Consequently, compared to the waterfall model, it is a model that is adaptable to changes. When using the RAD paradigm, there is less risk associated.


Difference between RAD Model and Waterfall Model

Waterfall ModelRAD Model
Waterfall model known as Classical/Traditional Model.RAD stands for Rapid Application Development.
Planning is required in early stage.There is no such constraint in RAD model.
High assurance is what it aims for.Its objective is rapid development.
There is high amount risk in waterfall model.There is low amount risk in RAD model.
In waterfall model large team size is required.In RAD model small team size is required.
Waterfall model can’t handle large project.RAD model also can’t handle large project but usually it is preferred between large and small project.
Any changes can be made in waterfall model only at the beginning.Any changes can be made in RAD model anytime.
The product of Waterfall model is delivered after the completion of all stages.The product of RAD model is delivered as soon as possible.
There is long waiting time for running software in waterfall model.There is less waiting time for running software in RAD model, as its first version is released as soon as possible.
Waterfall model is not compatible with the change in client requirements.RAD model may work with the change in client requirements.
It is not flexible to changes.It is flexible to changes.
Customer control over the administrator is very less.Customer control over the administrator is more in comparison to waterfall model.

RAD Model and Waterfall Model – FAQ’s

1: How do the RAD Model and Waterfall Model handle project phases differently?

In the Waterfall Model, phases like requirements analysis, design, development, testing, and deployment are executed sequentially. In contrast, the RAD Model breaks down the project into smaller iterative cycles involving rapid prototyping, user feedback, and continuous refinement.

2: Which model is better for accommodating changes in requirements?

The RAD Model is generally better suited for accommodating changes in requirements due to its iterative nature. It allows for flexibility and adjustments as the project progresses, whereas the Waterfall Model is less adaptable to changing requirements once the process has started.

3: How does the RAD Model ensure user involvement compared to the Waterfall Model?

The RAD Model places a strong emphasis on user involvement through iterative prototyping and frequent feedback cycles. Users are actively engaged in reviewing prototypes and providing input throughout the development process. In the Waterfall Model, user involvement is typically limited to the requirements phase.

4: What is the role of documentation in the RAD Model and Waterfall Model?

The Waterfall Model heavily emphasises documentation, as each phase’s outputs must be documented before proceeding to the next phase. In the RAD Model, while documentation is still important, the focus is on creating working prototypes and involving users, with less emphasis on comprehensive documentation.

Last Updated : 21 Sep, 2023
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