RE: Reference Manual

Subject: RE: Reference Manual
From: "Hager, Harry (US - East Brunswick)" <hhager -at- dc -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 09:51:03 -0500


Here is something that may be useful. It's something I originally wrote a
while back for another company and have sort of added to as the technolgy

Jim Hager
hhager -at- dc -dot- com

Technical Reference Manuals

Technical reference manuals describe the programs and the files of a
software application. Technical reference manuals are usually not read in
sequential order. Instead, individual sections are read (referred to) as
needed. Technical reference manuals are also sometimes called systems
documentation or simply, reference manuals.

For technical reference manuals, one size does not fit all.

Following is a list of characteristics of typical reference manuals:
· Purpose: Describes the structure, function, and capabilities of the
individual software components of the application, such as programs, command
procedures, and data files. The reference manual is generally free of any
task-oriented material unless system administration procedures are included.

· Audience: Persons who are responsible for maintaining the software
application and those who are responsible for responding to the user
questions about technical details of the application.
· Content & Organization: No single content structure or organization is
suitable for all reference manuals. Following are some typical example
sections in a reference manual (Note that there is some overlap in these
examples because these examples are compiled from several different manuals
for several different types of software):
· Purpose of the software (User tasks or functions performed by the
· Technical architecture
· Hardware and software requirements
· Programs
· Command procedures / statements
· User menus and menu commands (user interface)
· User data entry screens and fields (user interface)
· Database architecture
· System administration procedures
· Appendices

----------------Original Message------------

Subject: Reference Manual
From: "Kim Washington" <thekutestkim -at- hotmail -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 13:03:15 -0600
X-Message-Number: 48

Can someone give me a definition of a reference manual or give me an example

of one? A recruiter has asked if I'd ever written one, and I wasn't sure if
I had because I may have never heard it referred to as that.

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