Prototyping is the rapid development and testing of working models, or prototypes, of new applications in an interactive, iterative process that can be used by both systems analysts and end user. The system development life cycle enables users to transform a newly-developed project into an operational one. It also referred to as the application development life-cycle, is a term used in systems engineering, information systems, and software engineering to describe a process for planning, creating, testing, and deploying an information system.
In software development, a prototype is a. rudimentary working model of a product or information system, usually built for demonstration purposes or as part of the development process. In the systems development life cycle (SDLC) Prototyping Model, a basic version of the system is built, tested, and then reworked as necessary until an acceptable prototype is finally achieved from which the complete system or product can now be developed.
In prototype-based programming, a prototype is an original object; new objects are created by copying the prototype.
In hardware design, a prototype is a “hand-built” model that represents a manufactured (easily replicable) product sufficiently for designers to visualize and test the design. Prototyping makes the development process faster and easier for system analysts, especially for projects where end-user requirements are hard to define. Thus, prototyping is sometimes called rapid application design (RAD).