In this lecture we will learn:
•In this lecture we will examine types of specifications
common to the computer industry.
•Then we will examine the importance and main features of
•We will also see that terms and conventions often differ
from company to company, but the
general framework is similar.
•For everyone involved in the design phase of the computer
industry – hardware
engineers,software engineers, technicians, and programmers –
specifications are the most
important document to be read or written.
•The situation is even worse when work has to be undone or
redone because of bad specs.
•Specifications can be categorized into four types:
•The result of market research is requirements
•In it, the marketing people attempt to specify what the
market is looking for, what people or
companies who use computers would find useful and would like
–This is as accurate a description as can be written by
marketing about the desired product.
–It should answer the question: “What is it?”
–This is a description of what the desired product should be
capable of doing.
–It leads to the next type of specification.
–This is a ballpark estimate as to what the desired product
should cost to be competitive in
•We then move onto the functional specification.
•These specs will form the basis for the highly precise
•Hardware functional specifications as a rule contain the
Maintenance cost target
•Software functional specs usually contain the following:
description of the product
•Design specifications are later used as the basis for test
plans and user documentation.
•Hardware design specifications generally contain some
version of the following
• software design specifications should contain the
Memory requirements, performance, and restrictions:
Deviations from functional specifications
documents: these documents might
describe test procedures on similar
products designed and developed in the past.
of unit to be tested
method: this section provides a
step-by-step description of the testing procedure.
•The important thing to remember is that no report format is
•Company documentation standards attempt to resolve the
issue by prescribing a format
into which all analysis reports are poured.
•Report design should be flexible enough to meet a variety
of writer purposes and audience
•A title page should be designed with visual order in mind.
•It should be balanced from top to bottom and from left to
•It should provide enough information for readers to be able
to tell what the context of the
report is and what the report is about.
•Abstracts are condensation of entire reports, focusing on
the main issues: what was done,
what was found out, and its significance.
•Abstracts are self-sufficient.
•The procedure for many companies is to take the abstract
from the analysis report, copy it
a number of times, circulate it to readers, and allow
readers to order the full report if they
feel like they need the information.
Table of contents:
•The table of contents provide an outline of analysis
reports for readers who do not wish to
read the entire report or flip through it looking for the
section which contains what they are
•It should be made up of headings and subheadings of the
report, word-for-word, with the
accompanying page numbers.
List of symbols:
•This is an optional addition to the front matter of an
•Include it if you think the readers will need to have
•The same thing applies to the inclusion of a glossary.
•This is the place for the three-part purpose statement
•It will orient readers to the main issue of the report, to
the technical issues or specifics
which are important to the report, and to what the report is
intended to accomplish.
•The discussion contains an analysis of the technical issues
important to the report.
•It supports the main issue to the report by providing
evidence and explanations.
•It should be subdivided into topics, each with a
•This section presents the results of the analysis, the
evaluation of what was presented in
•Sometimes listing the conclusion is a good way to organize
•It calls attention to the conclusion individually, but
still enables writers to explain them as is
optional, not all analysis reports have them.•Those reports that do
have recommendations, tell the readers what to do with the
information provided in the
would include derivations of equations, tables of raw data, sample
equations, and so forth.
•But the only
way to be certain that what is placed in the appendix belongs there is to
assess it within the context of audience needs.