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SDLC vs PDLC - Product vs Software Development Life Cycle

sdlc vs pdlc

SDLC: Software Development Life Cycle” Vs. PDLC: “Product Development Life Cycle”

The usage of terms may seem interchangeable but there are a considerable amount of differences between the two methods. It is vital not to ignore these differences. So, here is a lowdown of differences between these two:

PDLC is defined as a process that is responsible for bringing to market a new product and generally includes the business units. It is, therefore, the process of developing a product. It may also be defined as something that may completely be full perceived as a product. It is crucial to understand that PDLC has nothing to do with life of a product in the market. It also includes hardware and is concerned with the complete development of a product. This process may involve numerous software components.

The main objective of all the phases is to ensure a cost friendly product development life cycle.

The life-cycle of PDLC is generally divided into six phases.

6 PDLC phases are as follows:

1. Idea generation and screening

2. Research

3. Development

4. Testing

5. Analysis

6. Introduction


SDLC on the other hand, is explained as a structural approach used for developing particular software products. SDLC is primarily aimed at solving a specific software problem that may arise. That is, it points to specific steps within the PDLC.

We may also say that SDLC is a subset of PDLC. Such steps are the responsibility of a technical department within an organization.

The primary objective of SDLC is to ensure that software built is of good quality.

The life-cycle of SDLC is typically divided into five phases and each phase has its own specific process as well as deliverable's.

5 SDLC phases are as follows:

1. Requirements gathering or analysing user requirements

2. Designing the program

3. Coding the program

4. Documentation and testing of the system

5. Operation and maintenance of the system


There are other striking differences between PDLC & SDLC.

It is not necessary that all product development life cycles include software development life cycles as well.

On the other hand not only software development products but also non- software related products require PDLC as a part of their development process.

Example of PDLC :

When a laptop or a computer is built, the process involved is PDLC. It is common to know both laptops and computers consist of hardware, operating system, software and many other components.

These components are developed independently. However, software like Microsoft Office goes through SDLC.


Image Courtesy: hbsconsult.com

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