Understanding The Lifecycle Of Application Development

By  Maham Qasim

November 19, 2021 10:27 am EST

Application development is a dynamic and evolving world; it’s hard to keep up.

New devices are emerging everyday with multiple screen sizes, resolutions, capabilities and operating systems. The days of relying on “best practices” for specific platforms are gone; the only way forward is a cross-platform strategy that provides a quality application experience on all major mobile operating systems.

History of Application Development:

The first programs were all written by hand which was a time-consuming process. In addition, IT departments in the 80’s started to become a staple of corporations and small businesses alike. With this, teams could quickly write and share code, automating complex tasks, which made applications possible.

It’s difficult to say precisely when the profession of application developer was born. Still, it seems it happened rather suddenly, with the launch of Visual Basic and other high-level languages.

It wasn’t until the late 80s and early 90s when we started to see a shift in application development– from monolithic systems to a service-oriented approach.

Monolithic Systems:

In the early days, it was common for an application to be a single chunk of code that included everything to configure an application. These applications were incredibly inflexible and ran on mainframe devices only. 

Moreover, it was harder to manage these large code files and difficult to scale for changes.

Service-Oriented Applications:

As demand for software increased, the ability to deliver quality software faster became an important goal. One approach to achieving this involved having different services that could be run independently of one another– every service was its own “application” with a specific function. 

This gave companies the ability to update or modify services without affecting the entire system. For the last 20 years, applications have been developed using this Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA).

What Is Application Development?

Although some organizations consider an “application” to be synonymous with “software”, an application is any piece of software or system that provides some form of value to its users.

A simple example is a messaging app like Messenger or WhatsApp– it has no practical value without users, so there is no reason for it to exist other than to provide value to its users. More complex examples include email systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, and even computer operating systems like Linux and Windows.

The Landscape Today:

Today, many different cloud-based platforms are available, including Salesforce’s Heroku PaaS (Platform as a Service) offering.

Over the past few years, another trend we’ve seen is an increase in the number of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) building their applications to run on top of these platforms. These applications were rarely built with security and scalability in mind, but they still became successful because they’re developed quickly without incurring high costs.

Most modern programming languages are multi-paradigm languages, allowing developers to choose the approach they want to take. Multi-paradigm languages typically offer functional, procedural, and object-oriented paradigms.

SaaS Applications:

Software as a Service (SaaS) refers to software deployment over the internet without requiring installation on each end user’s computer.

SaaS applications are typically built on the PaaS (Platform as a Service) design of their particular provider. Using similar cloud services has allowed businesses to create convenient software that can be set up quickly with minimal resources or effort.

The Future of Application Development:

As companies continue to evolve and grow, the software they use must also change. Fortunately, new tools are released almost daily to make it easier for even non-technical employees to create software applications that can improve a company’s efficiency.

These new tools allow teams of developers to work together using a standard programming language– ensuring that everyone on the project uses the same set of guidelines, to improve communication and efficiency.


Application development has come a long way over the past few decades, and it continues to take leaps as new technologies are developed every day. Applications have evolved from being stand-alone desktop applications to web-based applications that run on a variety of platforms.

Maham Qasim

Maham is a copywriter and content creator who's always been drawn to the idea that there's more than one way of getting things done. Her writing career can be thought of as just another side hustle for her; when she isn't crafting content or reading Oscar Wilde, Maham often strategizes about how best to reach out with an engaging voice in this ever changing marketplace!

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