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RUP - Rational Unified Process

Rational Unified Process, or RUP, is an agile software development method from Rational, an IBM division. It serves as an online mentor providing guidelines, examples, and templates for all stages and aspects of program development. The development of a project or software is divided into four phases with various activities taking place during each phase. RUP is considered iterative or repetitive because the process’s core activities repeat throughout the project. Its components can be adjusted and the cycle phases can be repeated until the project or software meets its requirements, making it agile.

Dimensions of the Rational Unified Process

RUP should be looked at from two dimensions: time and process.

The time dimension has four phases:

Inception phase

This phase is where the basic idea or structure of the project is determined. The team meets regularly to check viability, suitability, and necessity. It makes sure the budget meets the project’s expected cost.

Elaboration phase

Developers assess the software architecture and system requirements in this phase. This includes checking the project development plan, developing the user manual, and creating prototypes for tackling risks.

Construction phase

This stage ensures the construction of the entire software system, including its components and features. Aside from the majority of coding taking place in this phase, the team makes sure costs and means are controlled and the fully completed software system is delivered.

Transition phase

The main objective of this phase is the transfer of the product to its new user. Problems and errors almost surely arise and require changes to be made. The transition phase ensures the transfer runs smoothly.

The process dimension has six phases:

Corporate modeling

RUP ensures that the user and system communicate properly by creating a universal language and offering processes. This lessens inefficiency in various areas.


This phase describes what the system should do and its function, which the user and  developer should have agreed upon in the first phase. 

Analysis and design

Analysis and design serve as the blueprint of the process and show how the system is realized. It makes sure it meets requirements and executes all its tasks.


The objective of this phase is to construct the whole system and test and release its components.


Testing verifies the proper integration of the software and its components. It identifies defects and problems and ensures these are resolved.


This includes releasing a software system and enabling the user to work with the system without glitches.

RUP is similar in concept to Extreme Programming in that only what is useful and required is produced and the development plan is updated throughout the process. Both methods seek to develop a system of best practices in software development.

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