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Chief Architect's Blog on software development

6 Dec 2010
Software Development Cycle Acronym
When developing a complicated application, we often need to go through various stages of Software Development Cycle, eg. Requirment Gathering, Software Design, Coding, Testing, Deloyment, Maintenance, etc.  We often see release acronyms of a software product, which represents the development stage of that product.  Here are a list of these acronyms:
  • Alpha - The product is developed to a stage which is only suitable for testing inside the software house.
  • Beta - The product can be released to selected customers or users for testing but is not suitable for testing by all public users.  Some software houses release beta products for public testing.
  • CTP (Community Technical Preview) - The product is released to public for testing but is not suitable for production use.
  • RC (Release Candidate) - The product is entering a stage which is very near final release quality.
  • RTM (Release To Manufacturing) - The coding and testing cycle are completed.  The product is good for production use.
  • RTW (Release To Work) - The meaning is similar to RTM.
  • SP (Service Pack) - Service Pack is used to fix bugs or product improvement at maintenance stage.  It is released after the product is manufactured or deployed.

For very complicated and lengthly software development, you may encounter Beta 1, Beta 2, RC 1, RC 2, SP 1, SP 2, etc.  They are just dividing a stage into several smaller stages.


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