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Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Software Requirement Specification

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Speaker
Prerita Agarwal
Data Specialist @
23 Jul, 2024 @ 01:30 PM

Introduction

These days, systems and software are so complex that to get on with the design before knowing what we are going to build is stupidity. Software Requirement Specification is a document that describes the specifications and requirements of the software. It tells us about how the software will perform. It has all the details that the user is expecting from the software.

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Features of SRS

Following are the features of a SRS document: 

  • Correctness: SRS is said to be correct if it covers all the requirements that users expected from the system. User review decids  the correctness of SRS. 
  • Completeness:  A complete SRS has all essential functionality, performance, design, constraints, attributes, or external interfaces. It also has responses of the software for all realizable classes of input data in all available categories of situations. It has proper labels and references for all figures, tables, and diagrams.
  • Consistency: A consistent SRS has no conflicts between any set of requirements. Examples of conflict are differences in terminologies used at separate places, logical conflicts like report generation time, etc. 
  • Unambiguousness: SRS is unambiguous if all the requirements stated have only one interpretation. Some ways to prevent unambiguousness include using modeling techniques like ER diagrams, proper reviews and buddy checks, etc.  
  • Ranking for importance and stability: There should be a criterion to classify the requirements as less important or as desirable or essential. Every requirement can use an identifier mark to show its stability or rank.
  • Modifiability: SRS must be made as modifiable as possible, and it should be capable of readily accepting changes in the system to some extent. Modifications should be appropriately indexed and cross-referenced. 
  • Verifiability: SRS is verifiable if a specific technique exists to quantifiably measure the extent to which the system meets every requirement. For example, a requirement that the system must be user-friendly is not verifiable, and listing such requirements should be avoided.  
  • Traceability: One should trace a requirement to the design component and then code segment in the program. Similarly, one should trace a requirement to the corresponding test cases. 
  • Design Independence: SRS should have an option to choose between multiple design alternatives for the final system. The SRS must not include any implementation details.
  • Testability: SRS should easily be able to generate test cases and test plans from the document.  
  • Understandable by the customer: Since it is not sure that an end-user will have excellent knowledge in computer science. Therefore, the use of formal notations and symbols should be avoided to as much extent as possible. The language should be kept accessible and straightforward. 
  • The right level of abstraction: If the SRS is written for the requirements phase, the details should be explained explicitly. Whereas, for a feasibility study, fewer details can be used. Hence, the level of abstraction varies according to the purpose of the SRS. 
     

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Properties of a good SRS document

  • Concise: The SRS report should be brief, unambiguous, consistent, and complete. Irrelevant descriptions reduce readability and also enhance the chances of error.
  • Structured: SRS should be well-structured. It is simple to understand and modify. The SRS document practically goes through several revisions to cope with the user requirements. Often, user requirements evolve over some time. Therefore, it should be easy to make modifications to the SRS document to make the report well-structured.
  • Black-box view: SRS should only define what the system should do and refrain from stating how to do these. This means that the SRS document should describe the system's external behavior and should not discuss the implementation issues. The SRS report should represent the system as a black box and define the system's externally visible behavior. Therefore, the SRS report is called the black-box specification of a system.
  • Conceptual integrity: SRS should show conceptual integrity in a way that the reader can merely understand it. It should characterize acceptable responses to unwanted circumstances. These are called system responses to exceptional conditions.
  • Verifiable: All system requirements documented in the SRS document must be correct. It means that it should be possible to decide whether or not requirements have been met in an implementation.

FAQs

  1. What is SRS?
    The SRS is a specification for the specific software product, program, or application set that performs particular functions within a particular environment.
     
  2. What is the need for SRS?
    An SRS diminishes the time and effort required by developers to achieve desired goals and reduces the development cost. A good SRS defines application interaction with system hardware, other programs, and human users in a wide variety of real-world situations.
     
  3. Why should technical writers be involved with software requirements specifications?
    The presence of a technical writer in the requirements-gathering team helps balance the type and amount of information extracted from customers, which can help improve the SRS. Technical writers can better assess and plan documentation projects and meet customer document needs better.
     
  4. Why technical descriptions and specifications are essential?
    Technical specification document provides developers with clearly defined goals and direction and ultimately allows for better management of stakeholder expectations.
     
  5. What is the outcome of the requirement specification and analysis phase?
    The result of this phase is the software requirements specifications document or the SRS that serves as the starting point for the next stage of software development, namely, software design.

Key Takeaways

In this article, we learned about Software Requirement Specification. We learned about the need for the SRS. We learn about the features and properties of a good Software Requirement Specification. At the end of this blog, we also find out the outcome of SRS.

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Topics covered
1.
Introduction
2.
Features of SRS
3.
Properties of a good SRS document
4.
FAQs
5.
Key Takeaways