What is Prototype Modeling?

The Prototyping Model is a systems development method in which a prototype which is an early approximation of a final system/product is built, tested, and then reworked as necessary till a suitable prototype is finally achieved from which the entire system or product will currently be developed. This model works best in eventualities where not all of the project requirements or necessities are known in detail. It is an iterative, trial-and-error process that takes place among the developers and the users.

There are several steps in the Prototyping Model:

  1. The first step is to define new system requirements in as much detail as possible. This involves interviewing a number of users representing all the aspects of the existing system.

  2. Next, a preliminary design is created.

  3. A first prototype of the new system is built from the preliminary design. This is usually a scaled-down system and represents an approximation of the characteristics of the final product.

  4. The users are then asked to thoroughly evaluate the first prototype, noting its strengths and weaknesses, and what should be added or removed. The developer collects and analyzes the remarks from the users.

  5. The first prototype is then modified, based on the remarks supplied by the users, and a second prototype of the new system is then constructed.

  6. The second prototype is now evaluated in the same manner as the first prototype.

  7. The preceding steps are then iterated as many times as deemed necessary until the users are fully satisfied that the prototype represents the final product that is desired.

  8. The final system is now constructed, based on the final prototype.

  9. The final system is then thoroughly evaluated and tested. Routine maintenance is carried out on a continuing basis to prevent large-scale failures and minimize downtime.

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