Rapid development languages

“Rapid-Development Language” is a general term that refers to any programming language that offers speedier implementation than do traditional third-generation languages such as C/C++, Pascal or Fortran.

Rapid-Development Languages (RDLs) produce their savings by reducing the amount of construction needed to build a product. Although the savings are realized during construction, the ability to shorten the construction cycle has project-wide implications; shorter construction cycles make incremental lifecycles such as Evolutionary Prototyping practical.

Because RDLs often lack first-rate performance, constrain flexibility and are limited to specific kinds of problems, they are usually better suited to the development of in-house software and limited construction custom software than to shrink-wrap software.


  • Potential reduction from nominal schedule: Good
  • Improvement in progress visibility:  None
  • Effect on schedule risk:  Increased Risk
  • Chance of first-time success:  Good
  • Chance of long-term success:  Very Good

Major Risks

  • Silver-bullet syndrome and overestimated savings
  • Failure to scale up to large projects
  • Encouragement of sloppy programming practices

Major Interaction and Trade-Offs

  • Trades some design and implementation flexibility for reduced implementation time
  • Improved construction speed supports Evolutionary Prototyping and related incremental approaches