Software Requirement Specification

Posted on January 19, 2011. Filed under: Learning |


Software Requirements Specification 

IEEE Software Document Definitions
 
SQAP – Software Quality Assurance Plan IEEE 730
SCMP – Software Configuration Management Plan IEEE 828
STD – Software Test Documentation IEEE 829
SRS – Software Requirements Specification IEEE 830
SVVP – Software Validation & Verification Plan IEEE 1012
SDD – Software Design Description IEEE 1016
SPMP – Software Project Management Plan IEEE 1058
 

A Software Requirements Specification (SRS) – a requirements specification for a software system – is a complete description of the behavior of a system to be developed. It includes a set of use cases that describe all the interactions the users will have with the software. Use cases are also known as functional requirements. In addition to use cases, the SRS also contains non-functional (or supplementary) requirements. Non-functional requirements are requirements which impose constraints on the design or implementation (such as performance engineering requirements, quality standards, or design constraints).

Functional specification

 

Systems engineering model of Specification and Levels of Development. During system development a series of specifications are generated to describe the system at different levels of detail. These program unique specifications form the core of the configuration baselines. As shown here, in addition to referring to different levels within the system hierarchy, these baselines are defined at different phases of the design process.[1]

Software development process
Activities and steps
Requirements · Specification
Architecture · Design
Implementation · Testing
Deployment · Maintenance
Methodologies
Agile · Cleanroom · Iterative
RAD · RUP · Spiral
Waterfall · XP · Lean
Scrum · V-Model · TDD
Supporting disciplines
Configuration management
Documentation
Quality assurance (SQA)
Project management
User experience design
Tools
Compiler · Debugger · Profiler
GUI designer · IDE
v·d·e

A functional specification (also, functional spec, specs, functional specifications document (FSD), or Program specification) in systems engineering and software development is the documentation that describes the requested behavior of an engineering system. The documentation typically describes what is needed by the system user as well as requested properties of inputs and outputs (e.g. of the software system).

Contents

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 Overview

In systems engineering a specification is a document that clearly and accurately describes the essential technical requirements for items, materials, or services including the procedures by which it can be determined that the requirements have been met. Specifications help avoid duplication and inconsistencies, allow for accurate estimates of necessary work and resources, act as a negotiation and reference document for engineering changes, provide documentation of configuration, and allow for consistent communication among those responsible for the eight primary functions of Systems Engineering. They provide a precise idea of the problem to be solved so that they can efficiently design the system and estimate the cost of design alternatives. They provide guidance to testers for verification (qualification) of each technical requirement.[1]

A functional specification does not define the inner workings of the proposed system; it does not include the specification how the system function will be implemented. Instead, it focuses on what various outside agents (people using the program, computer peripherals, or other computers, for example) might “observe” when interacting with the system. A typical functional specification might state the following:

When the user clicks the OK button, the dialog is closed and the focus is returned to the main window in the state it was in before this dialog was displayed.

Such a requirement describes an interaction between an external agent (the user) and the software system. When the user provides input to the system by clicking the OK button, the program responds (or should respond) by closing the dialog window containing the OK button.

It can be informal, in which case it can be considered as a blueprint or user manual from a developer point of view, or formal, in which case it has a definite meaning defined in mathematical or programmatic terms. In practice, most successful specifications are written to understand and fine-tune applications that were already well-developed, although safety-critical software systems are often carefully specified prior to application development. Specifications are most important for external interfaces that must remain stable.

 Functional specification topics

Purpose

There are many purposes for functional specifications. One of the primary purposes on team projects is to achieve some form of team consensus on what the program is to achieve before making the more time-consuming effort of writing source code and test cases, followed by a period of debugging. Typically, such consensus is reached after one or more reviews by the stakeholders on the project at hand after having negotiated a cost-effective way to achieve the requirements the software needs to fulfill.

 Process

In the ordered industrial software engineering life-cycle (waterfall model), functional specification describes what has to be implemented. The next system specification document describes how the functions will be realized using a chosen software environment. In not industrial, prototypical systems development, functional specifications are typically written after or as part of requirements analysis.

When the team agrees that functional specification consensus is reached, the functional spec is typically declared “complete” or “signed off”. After this, typically the software development and testing team write source code and test cases using the functional specification as the reference. While testing is performed the behavior of the program is compared against the expected behavior as defined in the functional specification.

Types of software development specifications

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