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Rapid-application development (RAD), also called rapid-application building (RAB), is both a general term for adaptive software development approaches, and the name for James Martin's approach to rapid development. In general, RAD approaches to software development put less emphasis on planning and more emphasis on an adaptive, speedy process.
Prototypes are often used in addition to or sometimes even in place of design specifications. RAD is especially well suited for (although not limited to) developing software that is driven by user interface requirements. Graphical user interface builders are often called rapid application development tools.