Prototype Model

 Prototype Model

A prototype model is built to test a concept or act as an early platform to validate that a design meets the target user’s requirements. A prototype model focuses on developing the software little by little and tested in a real time environment with the customers in mind.


The purpose of a prototype model is to allow users of the software to evaluate proposals for the design of the eventual product by actually trying them out, rather than having to interpret and evaluate the design based on descriptions. Generally, the analyst’s objective is to gather information about the user’s requirements by allowing the user to interact with the prototype. Then, the prototype serves as a preliminary version of the system or component from which requirements are extracted and on which subsequent versions are based. The goal is to provide a system with overall functionality.

Prototype Model Process
The prototype model process diagram as follows:

Prototyping model first starts with requirements gathering. Here, instead of freezing the requirements before a design or coding can proceed, a prototype is built with basic and critical functions. The designer builds the database, user interface, and algorithmic functions and the designer demonstrates the prototype. This loop continues until the user is satisfied. When the user is satisfied, the prototype code is brought up to the standards needed for a final product.

Advantages of Prototype Model

•    Interaction with the prototype stimulates awareness of additional needed functionality.
•    Developers learn from customers.
•    Errors can be detected much earlier.
•    Missing functionality can be identified easily.
•    Steady, visible signs of progress produced.

Disadvantage of Prototype Model

•    Tendency to abandon structured program development for “code-and-fix” development.
•    Leads to implementing and then repairing way of building systems.
•    Expense of implementing prototype.
•    Prototype changes from time to time resulting in complexity in making documentation on the software and integration might be hard with this model.
•    Excessive development time of the prototype.

When to use Prototype model: 

•    Prototype model should be used when the desired system needs to have a lot of interaction with the end users.
•    Requirements are unstable or have to be clarified.
•    Typically, online systems, web interfaces have a very high amount of interaction with end users, are best suited for Prototype model. It might take a while for a system to be built that allows ease of use and needs minimal training for the end user.
•    Develop user interfaces.


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