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Thursday, July 12, 2012

What are the characteristics of the unified process?

- Unified process is one of the most popular software development frame works based on the iterative and incremental approach.
- Unified process is a frame work that is extensible according to the needs of the software development project or according to the needs of the specific organizations. 
- The unified process signifies the generic processes that include elements that have been declared common for most of the refinements. 
- The unified process was first discussed in detail in a book called “the unified software development process” in the year of 1999. 
- Every process has got some characteristics and so does the unified process.

Characteristics of Unified Process

1. Iterative and Incremental Process: 
- There is no doubt believing that the unified process is an iterative and incremental one. 
- This is evident from the fact that the all the below mentioned 4 phases of the whole process are divided in to a set of time boxed iterations:
(a)  Inception
(b)  Elaboration
(c)  Construction and
(d)  Transition
- Depending up on the complexity and the size of the project, the inception phase may also be further divided in to a large number of small iterations to keep the over all development process as simple as possible. 
- The increments are the result of the individual iterations that are performed during the whole development process.
- These increments can be defined as a system containing improved and added functionalities that extend over those that were present in the previous version of the same software system or application.
- Mostly the iterations take care of the following aspects of the software:
       (a)  Requirements
       (b)  Testing
       (c)  Design implementation and so on.

2. Use case driven: 
- The unified process is rightly called the use case driven software development methodology since it is driven by the use cases that are quite effective in capturing the contents of the iterations and the functional requirements.
- Each iteration involves a number of use cases as well as scenarios for the proper identification of the requirements, their implementation, testing and deployment.

3. Risk Focused: 
- The unified process requires that the most critical risks in the whole development cycle are focused up on in the early stages of the life cycle of the process. 
- For addressing the factors with the highest risk rating, the deliverable of all the iterations especially in the second phase of the life cycle i.e., the elaboration phase are selected in a pre-defined order.

4. Architecture Centric: 
- It is obvious that the success of any software development process is greatly dependent on what kind of architecture is being used in it. 
- Architecture seems to work the very best at the heart of any software development process. - With the right architecture in the process, the efforts of the teams can shape the software system or application the way they want. 
- One problem is encountered here which is that only one model never suffices in providing coverage in a unified process, several models have to be conjoined and used. 
- It is one of the attractive features of the unified process that it supports multiple architectural views and models. 
- The elaboration phase witnesses the creation of an executable architecture baseline which can be called as an important deliverable. 

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