Functional Specifications Resources (Was Books on Writing Functional Specifications)

Subject: Functional Specifications Resources (Was Books on Writing Functional Specifications)
From: Manjeet Singh <msingh -at- scort -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 08 Nov 2000 16:57:24 +0100

Hi all,

Since I started this thread which got out of hand, it's perhaps but
appropriate that I end it.

Here is the input I got from people on this list:

Summary: "Use cases" and "user scenarios" explained the context of
functional analysis - specifically comparing Use(r) Scenario with Use
Case. As I (seperately) posted, in the main, a Use Case is the same as a
Use(r) Scenario - they are both functional analysis techniques to

(Author: TECHWR-Ler Jean Hollis Weber)

> List of links to sample functional specs posted by John Posada
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------------------------------------------------------------

An interesting e-mail from the archives by Nancy Osterhout
blubird -at- gte -dot- net:
When you say "software specification" document, I think in terms of
"software requirements specification" (SRS).The SRS (software
specification) captures at a high level ALL the requirements of the
software. This document is written by eliciting from the customer in the
first place what the customer requires of the software to be developed
for them.
The SRS includes not only Marketing's input on market viability for the
product and use cases, but a high-level description of both the
functional requirements (WHAT the software is supposed to do) and the
non-functional requirements (performance, safety, security, quality,
operating environment) as well. These requirements listed in the SRS are
rolled down to more detail throughout the product's development life
cycle from the "parent" SRS document to the "child" documents. One of
those "child" documents is the "functional specification" which, itself,
is the "parent" to the test design specifications and user
documentation. The functional specifications are the details of HOW the
software will meet those high-level functional requirements.

There are 3 sources that you might want to try.

Source #1: a book by Karl Weigers named "Software Requirements." I used
it to learn about "writing requirements" on my current contract, and it
was very helpful.
In it is a sample template (ToC only) for a SRS that goes from Overall
Description (including PRODUCT FUNCTIONS, user classes, design and
implementation constraints, operating environment, etc.) through to
External Interface Requirements, System Features, and "other
NONFUNCTIONAL requirements" (performance, safety, security, software
quality attributes, and user documentation).

Source #2: The author cites as a good source templates derived from
IEEE Standard 830-1998 "IEEE Recommended Practice for Software
Requirements Specifications" (IEEE 1998) as a "flexible, well-structured
template that is suitable for many kinds of software projects."

Source #3: a site for a series of documents, including a table of
contents listed for "How to Write Software Requirements Specifications"
at .

Thanks to Lucille Lattanzi for the following post:

Get hold of "Practical Software Requirements" by Ben Kovitz, Manning
($47.95 US) Amazon and other book store sites have it.

It's the Bible for this kind of project. I use it as a reference often.

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