Software requirements specification
|IEEE software life cycle|
A software requirements specification (SRS) is a description of a software system to be developed. It is modeled after business requirements specification (CONOPS), also known as a stakeholder requirements specification (StRS). The software requirements specification lays out functional and non-functional requirements, and it may include a set of use cases that describe user interactions that the software must provide to the user for perfect interaction.
Software requirements specification establishes the basis for an agreement between customers and contractors or suppliers on how the software product should function (in a market-driven project, these roles may be played by the marketing and development divisions). Software requirements specification is a rigorous assessment of requirements before the more specific system design stages, and its goal is to reduce later redesign. It should also provide a realistic basis for estimating product costs, risks, and schedules. Used appropriately, software requirements specifications can help prevent software project failure.
The software requirements specification document lists sufficient and necessary requirements for the project development. To derive the requirements, the developer needs to have clear and thorough understanding of the products under development. This is achieved through detailed and continuous communications with the project team and customer throughout the software development process.
An example organization of an SRS is as follows:
- Overall description
- Specific requirements
- External interface requirements
- Functional requirements
- Performance requirements
- Logical database requirement
- Software System Attributes
- Functional requirements
- Environment characteristics
The Software Requirements Specification (SRS) is a communication tool between users and software designers. The specific goals of the SRS are:
- Facilitating reviews
- Describing the scope of work
- Providing a reference to software designers (i.e. navigation aids, document structure)
- Providing a framework for testing primary and secondary use cases
- Including features to customer requirements
- Providing a platform for ongoing refinement (via incomplete specs or questions)
Following the idea of code smells, the notion of requirements smell has been proposed to describe issues in requirements specification where the requirement is not necessarily wrong but could be problematic. In particular, the requirements smell:
Examples of requirements smells are Subjective Language, Ambiguous Adverbs and Adjectives, Superlatives and Negative Statements.
- System requirements specification
- Concept of operations
- Requirements engineering
- Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK)
- Design specification
- Specification (technical standard)
- Formal specification
- Abstract type
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