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An Introduction to the Rational Unified Process

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The Rational Unified Process is a software development process that covers the entire software development lifecycle. In this sample book chapter, you'll learn its key features and how they can benefit you.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter gives an overview of the Rational Unified Process, introduces the process structure, describes the process product, and outlines its main features.


The Rational Unified Process is a software engineering process. It provides a disciplined approach to assigning tasks and responsibilities within a development organization. Its goal is to ensure the production of high-quality software that meets the needs of its end users within a predictable schedule and budget.

The Rational Unified Process is a process product. It is developed and maintained by Rational Software and integrated with its suite of software development tools. It is available from IBM on CD-ROM or through the Internet. This book is an integral part of the Rational Unified Process but represents only a small fraction of the Rational Unified Process knowledge base. Later in this chapter we describe the physical structure of the process product.

The Rational Unified Process is also a process framework that can be adapted and extended to suit the needs of an adopting organization. Chapter 3 describes in more detail how the process framework is organized and introduces the process model, the elements that compose the process framework.

The Rational Unified Process captures many of the best practices in modern software development in a form that is suitable for a wide range of projects and organizations. Along with many others, it covers the practices introduced in Chapter 1:

  1. Develop software iteratively.

  2. Manage requirements.

  3. Use component-based architectures.

  4. Visually model software.

  5. Continuously verify software quality.

  6. Control changes to software.

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