Advantages and disadvantages of prototype model

A prototype is a toy implementation of the system. A prototype usually exhibits limited functional capabilities, low reliability, and inefficient performance compared to the actual software. A prototype is usually built using several shortcuts. The shortcuts might involve using inefficient, inaccurate, or dummy functions. The shortcut implementation of a function, for example, may produce the desired results by using a table look-up instead of performing the actual computations. A prototype usually turns out to be a very crude version of the actual system


  • Users are actively involved in the development
  • Since in this methodology a working model of the system is provided, the users get a better understanding of the system being developed 
  • Errors can be detected much easier
  • Quicker user feedback is available leading to better solutions 
  • Missing functionality can be identified easily 
  • Confusing or difficult functions can be identified


  • Leads to implementing and then repairing way of building systems
  • Practically, this methodology may increase the complexity of the system as scope of the system may expand beyond original plans
  • Incomplete application may cause application not to be used as the full system was designed

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