What is Prototype Model?
Prototype Model is an early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concept or process. It is a term used in a variety of contexts, including semantics, design, electronics, and software programming. A prototype is designed to test and try a new design to enhance precision by system analysts and users. Prototyping serves to provide specifications for a real, working system rather than a theoretical one.
The basic idea here is that instead of freezing the requirements before a design or coding can proceed, a throwaway prototype is built to understand the requirements. This prototype is developed based on the currently known requirements. By using this prototype, the client can get a model or sample of the product. The interactions with prototype can enable the client to better understand the requirements of the desired system. Prototyping is an attractive idea for complicated and large systems for which there is no manual process or existing system to help determining the requirements. The prototype is usually not complete systems and many of the details are not built in the prototype. The goal is to provide a system with overall functionality.
Advantages of Prototype model:
- Sometimes it helps to demonstrate the concept to prospective investors to get funding for project.
- It reduces risk of failure, as potential risks can be identified early and corrective steps can be taken.
- Iteration between development team and client provides a very good and conductive environment during project.
- Since in this method a working model of the system is provided, the users get a better understanding of the system being developed and can suggest changes and modifications.
- User feedback is available at an early stage leading to better solution.
Disadvantages of Prototype model:
- If too many changes are required in the sample or model product, it can disturb the rhythm of the development team.
- This methodology may increase the complexity of the system as scope of the system may expand beyond original plans.
- Prototyping is usually done at the cost of the developer. So it should be done using minimal resources. Sometimes the start-up cost of building the development team, focused on making prototype, may be high.