What is RAD Model? Phases, Advantages and Disadvantages

What is RAD Model?

RAD Model or Rapid Application Development model is a software development process based on prototyping without any specific planning. In RAD model, there is less attention paid to the planning and more priority is given to the development tasks. It targets at developing software in a short span of time.

SDLC RAD modeling has following phases

  • Business Modeling
  • Data Modeling
  • Process Modeling
  • Application Generation
  • Testing and Turnover
RAD Model
RAD Model Diagram

It focuses on input-output source and destination of the information. It emphasizes on delivering projects in small pieces; the larger projects are divided into a series of smaller projects. The main features of RAD modeling are that it focuses on the reuse of templates, tools, processes, and code.

RAD Model in Software Engineering

RAD Model in Software Engineering

Different Phases of RAD Model

There are following five major phases of Rapid Application Development Model

RAD Model Phases Activities performed in RAD Modeling
Business Modeling On basis of the flow of information and distribution between various business channels, the product is designed
Data Modeling The information collected from business modeling is refined into a set of data objects that are significant for the business
Process Modeling The data object that is declared in the data modeling phase is transformed to achieve the information flow necessary to implement a business function
Application Generation Automated tools are used for the construction of the software, to convert process and data models into prototypes
Testing and Turnover As prototypes are individually tested during every iteration, the overall testing time is reduced in RAD.

When to use RAD Methodology?

  • When a system needs to be produced in a short span of time (2-3 months)
  • When the requirements are known
  • When the user will be involved all through the life cycle
  • When technical risk is less
  • When there is a necessity to create a system that can be modularized in 2-3 months of time
  • When a budget is high enough to afford designers for modeling along with the cost of automated tools for code generation

Rapid Application Development Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages of RAD Model Disadvantages of RAD Model
Flexible and adaptable to changes It can’t be used for smaller projects
It is useful when you have to reduce the overall project risk Not all application is compatible with RAD
It is adaptable and flexible to changes When technical risk is high, it is not suitable
It is easier to transfer deliverables as scripts, high-level abstractions and intermediate codes are used If developers are not committed to delivering software on time, RAD projects can fail
Due to code generators and code reuse, there is a reduction of manual coding Reduced features due to time boxing, where features are pushed to a later version to finish a release in short period
Due to prototyping in nature, there is a possibility of lesser defects Reduced scalability occurs because a RAD developed application begins as a prototype and evolves into a finished application
Each phase in RAD delivers highest priority functionality to client Progress and problems accustomed are hard to track as such there is no documentation to demonstrate what has been done
With less people, productivity can be increased in short time Requires highly skilled designers or developers


  • RAD full form or RAD stands for: Rapid Application Development
  • Rapid Application Development definition: Rapid Application Development model is a software development process based on prototyping without any specific planning.