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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What is a Unified Process? What are key practices and guidelines for unified process?

What is Unified Process?
- Unified process is actually the short name for the USDP or the unified software development process.
- This software development process has recently emerged as a very popular incremental and iterative software development process frame work. 
- There are some methodologies defined under the category of the unified process and the one that is most commonly implemented and extensively documented in the rational unified process known as RUP in the abbreviated form. 
- The concept of the unified process is very vast and it cannot be merely called as only a process! Rather it can be thought of as an extensible frame work which is customizable according to the needs of the software project or the specific organizations. 
- Concluding from this, the rational unified process can also be called a customizable frame work. 

However the name “unified process” in quite opposing to the rational unified process generally marks the generic processes that include the elements that hold common for most of the refinements. 
In addition to this this name also avoids the potential issues of the trade mark infringement that arise since the RUP and the rational unified process are the trademarks of the IBM. 
The unified process was first mentioned and described in detail in a book by Ivar Jacobson, James Rumbaugh and Grady Booch called “the unified software development process” in the year of 1999.

Six Practices of Unified Process

The unified process deploys the following 6 key practices of software development:
  1. Development of the software in iterations: Increases understanding of the problem through successive refinements. An effective solution is achieved over several increments.
  2. Management of requirements: Involves elicitation, organization and documentation of the required constraints and functionalities, trade offs and so on.
  3. Implementation of component based architectures: A robust executable architecture is subjected to baselining first and then resources are deployed for full scale development. Promotes resiliency of the architecture.
  4. Visual modelling of the software: This practice helps capture the behaviour of the architectural components of the software system.
  5. Verification of the software quality: Poor reliability and poor performance are the factors that weigh down the quality of the software system or application. This practice reviews the software quality.  
  6. Controlling changes that are to be made in the software: This practice ensures that the changes to be incorporated are acceptable and won’t hamper the performance. 
Developers often want the answer for the question, "how do I know if I’m implementing the unified process properly?" There is no certain answer for this question but there are certain guidelines which if followed properly can keep the process on track:
  1. Figure out the major risks early and regularly or they will hamper the performance of your software system.
  2. Ensure the value that you are going to deliver to your customer.

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