We are going to limit how much it costs to create an application. To be specific, we refer to a business management software or application for the desktop, not exclusively mobile apps.
For this we are going to review which are the main phases of development of an application or management software. If we look at the article on the software life cycle, we can establish the strategic phases of the development of an application in: the idea, the development, the first versions, the journey and the obsolescence (end of the road).
However, we want to focus less on the strategic part and more on the technical part of development, so we better pay attention to the article that we published on the five key phases in software development which are requirements, design and development, implementation, verification and maintenance.
How much does the requirements phase cost to create an app?
The first thing that any professional or company should do when they are going to start with the development of a software, is to make a correct specification of the requirements of said application. To do this, it is necessary to listen, think, abstract (doing it on paper is very good for this) and go from the most general to the most concrete, as we already have in the secrets of a good analysis in software projects.
How much does it cost to listen? It will depend on the scope, size and characteristics desired by the clients or users of the application. A greater scope, size and characteristics will take more hours to determine exactly what is desired. We can make things easier and save hours by guiding clients through the questions that interest us and preventing us from going around the bush.
How much does it cost to think? This depends on each one. From each analyst, from each programmer, from each company. Each person has a way and an efficiency when it comes to thinking, but it seems obvious that an analyst or developer with experience in the sector and in the platform to be used will need fewer hours than another developer who comes from a different sector and are used to using a different tool. And it is that the best existing software development platform, regardless of the tool, is yourself.
How much does it cost to abstract yourself and go from the most general to the most concrete? In the same way that happens with the two previous answers, this will depend in part on the analyst or analysts who are making the requirements specification, as well as the tool used for it, beyond the paper and the pen. And in this case, we can say with pleasure that RetroCube is an excellent option for this part, thanks to its integrated database and its visual programming.
Many of you will be arriving here saying, “Okay, very good, but how much does it cost?” However, how to provide a specific data would be very imprecise, since not only at the country level, if not within the same city country for or to speak of the technologies or the scope, the costs vary very widely, better we are going to provide a formula, which may be too simple for what you expected, but which is much closer to reality than any specific figure:
Cost of requirements phase to create an application = (No. of hours invested in the project by sales department + development department) * cost of their hours.
How much does the design and development phase cost to create a software application?
Who is involved in the design phase of a software? Continuing along the lines of the article and responding to the Galician: it depends. It will depend on the scope, scope and purpose of the android app development cost, as well as the technical and human resources available. Thus, in general terms, we can differentiate four specializations within design: product design, user experience design (UX), interface design (UI) and graphic design.
When designing a software program or application, you probably need or want one or more designers. There are designers who master all or several of the different specializations mentioned, however there are projects that employ one or more different specialists in each of the specializations.
In other companies, it is the same analyst-programmer who has this knowledge, who will be in charge of carrying out the different phases of graphic design, product, UX or UI design in addition to programming and coding; or in other cases where most of these areas are ignored and the developer is in charge of designing the application. For calling it somehow.
So to calculate how much the design phase in software development costs, we will have to take into account how many people have participated in said phase, multiply it by the number of hours each has invested, as well as by the cost of their work per hour.
Software design cost = (No. of hours invested in the project per designer | specialized designer + No. of hours invested in the project per developer) * cost of their hours.
How much does the implementation phase cost in software development?
Implementing refers to putting the software, service or application that we have developed into operation – usually locally or in a different environment – to a production environment, that is, where it will be used.
The scope of the application, that is, all those environments where it has been designed to be used, will first directly influence the times and costs of the first two phases (specification of requirements and design and development), since the higher the number The environments with which we want the software or application to be compatible, the greater the integration and adaptation difficulties for the application to function correctly in all of them.
In other words, it is not the same want an application to work exclusively on Windows, which will also run on OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, or in the cloud (cloud). The greater the number of environments, there will be a greater amount of specification of software requirements – such as that it works in certain systems -, it will probably be necessary to dedicate more hours to design and development and of course, when reaching this implementation phase, it is not the right thing to do. Even to implement a software under different possibilities of the same system, then to have to do it on several systems at the same time, since it multiplies exponentially the execution, performance and compatibility tests that must be carried out.
Cost of implementation in software development = (Number of systems to implement * Number of tests defined in each system * Number of hours used in each test * Cost of the hours of each person in the quality, development and / or support department involved in its implementation)
How much does the verification phase cost in app development?
We call the verification phase the one that follows the implementation phase. We already met to find out what type of software application was to be developed. We design and develop the application and carry out the implementation of it in production in all the requested environments.
Well, now comes the moment of truth. The users for whom we have developed the application will use it in the real work environment, with real data, real operations and real needs. In this phase, it is common for the developed software to show some inconsistencies, malfunctions and even errors. This is usually due to a wrong specification of requirements, because if it is done wrong in that phase, it will be designed, developed and implemented in the wrong way. But beware, the problem can also be located in another of the product development phases.
In this phase – normally from the commercial department, but also being able to participate from the commercial or development department – we will collect all those problems and errors that the users of the application report to us and we will have to start over with the development cycle : specification of requirements to know what is wrong, where and why, design and development to apply solutions to these problems and implementation to re-control the correct operation of the application in the various environments after the changes made.
Verification phase cost in application development = (No. of hours invested in collecting problems and reported errors, identification of the problem and its reproduction + No. of hours invested by the design and / or development departments + No. of hours invested by the quality department) * Cost of each of the hours of the people involved.
How much does the maintenance phase of a software cost?
It will largely depend on the type of maintenance agreement that we have defined. In some cases, the companies or clients for whom we develop a management program, software or application prefer themselves to take care of the server and / or system maintenance (system updates, packages, kernel, firewall configuration and management, networks, SLA, users, security, etc.) where the application will run. Other companies prefer to delegatein the developer and / or implementer companies such server and / or system maintenance tasks. In both cases, there is also the possibility that maintenance has to be carried out on a machine located in a specific physical environment, or on an infrastructure in the cloud. Both possibilities have their pros and cons, but nowadays for ease, security and costs the option of the cloud usually wins integers.
Cost of maintenance phase in software development = Cost of server maintenance (if any) + Cost of system maintenance (if any). In this case, it is more common to offer closed prices, leaving the hours loose for emergencies and emergencies.
We have now reached the end and we already know how to calculate the costs for the requirements specification, design and development phases, for implementations, as well as for verification and maintenance. However, surely if you have come this far, you will be thinking that all is well, but where are the figures (specific or approximate) of the cost of creating an application, program or software.
Well, the purpose of the article was precisely to show an overview that, in the world of software development, the cost of creating an application will depend on what type of application it is, how complex it is and how many people and how long it takes. To develop and implement it. That is why it is difficult to offer a specific or approximate figure of the cost of creating an application, but in order not to leave you with honey on your lips, I am going to offer you a couple of examples.
Let’s say that we are going to develop an application to manage our SME through our application instead of through the Excel sheet in which we have been doing. Let’s assume that since we are the ones who carry out all the tasks of the company, we have the specification of requirements in our head, so it only took us a couple of hours to put it on paper. We have notions in design and programming, so in the same way we take care of the execution of these phases, how long will it take? Well, it will depend on the scope of our application and the platform or tools used, but as we said it is a simple application and we use RetroCube for development, which is our platform specifically designed to develop business management applications. The result is that in just 8 hours, we have managed to carry out the program we wanted with the functionalities we wanted. The implementation is on our PC where we have developed it, so in principle we should not have a major problem. And we will live the verification in our own flesh. The maintenance of the server and the system does not vary with respect to what we already had.
Basic business management application development cost = (No. of hours of requirements specification (2) + No. of hours of design and development (8) + No. of hours of implementation (1) + No. of hours of verification (n / a) + No. of maintenance hours (n / c)) * cost of these hours = 2 + 8 + 1 * Y. Let’s say that Y has a value of € 50, they would be (2 + 8 + 1) * 50 = € 550, without take into account the cost of the development platform, verification, or maintenance, which we already considered included.
If we do the same exercise for a company with several dozen employees, who use different systems and have different needs: we will work with a software development company or with the company’s development department. Let’s say that the specification of requirements is achieved after four meetings of two hours, with six people in each of the meetings (4 * 2 * 6), a total of 48 hours.
For the design and development of the software, there will be a designer, as well as an analyst-programmer who will have to invest 3 weeks of work each of them (2 * 15 * 8) which adds up to a total of 120h for each one, that is, 240h in total.
For the implementation phase, let’s say that our company’s own quality department is in charge and two people (2 * 5 * 8) manage to do it in just one week, which would add another 80 hours. And let’s put another 80h for verification.
Finally, the maintenance, so as not to mess up the scheme any more, we will set the maintenance at a fixed cost of € 300 per month.
Cost of custom business management software development = (No. of hours of requirements specification (48) + No. of design and development hours (240) + No. of implementation hours (80) + No. of verification hours (80)) * cost of those hours + Maintenance cost (€ 300) = ((48 + 240 + 80 + 80) * 50) +300 = € 22,700.
The cost of creating a business management software application is very varied and depends on many factors to be able to give specific figures. As you can see, in two simple examples made by flying pen, we get € 550 the cost of creating one application and € 22,700 in cost of another. But do not think that creating an application costs between € 500 and € 20,000, far from it, because we could multiply those figures by 10, 100 or even 1000 and they would fit with the budgets of some developments. That is why many times it is not possible to limit the price or cost of an application, until we know in detail what to do and how, where and when to do it.
We hope you liked the article on software development costs. Do not stop participating with your experiences in the comments.