Why should you have a good Software requirement specification
The software requirement specification is the document that is prepared to give the client a brief idea of the product with the parameters and the goals. The article is helpful to the new developers in understanding the importance of preparing the SRS properly. It also gives the basic structure for preparing the SRS.
Software Requirement Software Requirement Specification (SRS) is a descriptive note about the software that is under development. It is documented by the developer of the software for the clients and users and describes the purpose of the software. It gives a detailed overview of the software product, its parameters and goals.
The preparation of the SRS needs to be done with proper thinking as the document forms the basis of agreement between the client and the developer and later also serves as a basis of contract between the client and its customers. Proper understanding of the goals of the product is required to be done so as to reduce the cost, time and efforts of redesigning the product that may be required to be carried out due to any misunderstanding with regards to the product.
The SRS lists down the requirements and the environment required for the product to function. It also enlists the requirements for the product to be developed.
Why is it so important
- The users and the client get a brief idea about the software while in the initial stages.
- The purposes and the intentions as well as the expected results are properly defined. It hence lays the outline for software design.
- The desired goals are defined thereby easing off the efforts of the developers in terms of time and cost.
- It forms a basis for the agreement between the client and the developer.
- It becomes easier while transferring and using the solution elsewhere or with new customers as the basis of functioning of the software is mentioned.
- It acts as a material for reference at a later stage.
- It acts as the basis for reviews.
Qualities of a good SRS
- Correctness: The SRS should be providing the correct scenario and should not just be given for the sake of giving a report.
- Unambiguous in nature: The SRS forms the basis of the agreement and is also tweaked later for reference and better understanding. Hence it should provide concrete information with respect to the scope, requirements and end results of the product so developed.
- Reliability of the document: The SRS should be reliable so that it could be passed on to the further customers of the clients or other branches of the client.
- Verifiability: The SRS should be verifiable i.e. the SRS forms the document that is referred to at the later stage to cross check the workings of the product so developed.
Basic structure of the SRS The basic structure of any SRS could be:
- Introduction: The introduction talks about the document and figures out the purpose of the document. It also gives the definitions, system overview and the references to be used while developing the product.
- Overall description: The SRS should give an overall description with respect to the Product perspective, Product functions, user characteristics. it also briefs about the constraints of using the end product, the assumptions considered about the environment while developing the product and the dependencies if any.
The SRS gives product perspectives with reference to the system interface, user interface, the hardware and software interfaces.
- Specific requirements: The various requirements specific to external interface, functions, performance and database are described here. The attributes pertaining to the software system like reliability of the system, security and availability concerns, portability, transferability and maintainability are discussed here.
- Other requirements: Any other requirements with respect to the software system also need to be discussed.
Conclusion Since the SRS is an important docum,ent and is required right from the initial stages of the agreement till the final verification and cross checking of the end product is done, this should be prepared with utmost care after having a proper understanding of the product to be developed.