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Functional Specification


Nowadays, it's important to get some idea what are the key roles which possess great functioning and a higher value in the software development. In any technical field, there is an appropriate plan or strategy that runs a complete process in a structured way. Any process which is followed by structured guidelines may produce effective and relevant results and that will helps to improves productivity related measures.

What is Functional Specification?

Purpose:The purpose is to define the functional requirements to understand and implement the intended & specified software functionalities.

"If the Software product’s requirements is a heart of the product, then functional specifications is product’s brain.” – This quote explains how functional Specification works.

The functional specification is a formal documentation which includes some functional attributes and functional requirements, which are used in software-oriented systems. This documentation describes various necessity measures of the system in a structured format. It include product’s capabilities, appearance description, user interactions, etc. The specification acts as a reference point for the developers to write a code. Assessing it from the programming angle, it may be seen as a series of interactive windows and dialogs that helps to understand and enables developers to execute effective & necessary actions.

To develop a product, there must be some sense of designed approach which helps in software development process. These are some crucial functional specification steps which are explained below:

  1. Requirements: It is a formal statement of a product which is planned by experts, by using their knowledge about markets and significant inputs from the valued customers who knows the actual necessity of the software product. Usually, requirements are used to express the product in narrative form.
  2. Objectives: The objectives are decided by product designers to get perfect outfit with respect to requirements. They describes more specifically about what actually a product look like with all its architectures, protocols and standards. The term called ‘Measurable Objectives’, is basically a criteria which is used to validate or judge product by the expert technician.
  3. Functional Specification: Functional specifications or simply specifications are formal guidelines in context of objectives. This illustrates all sort of external user and programming interfaces, to be supported by the product.
  4. Design Change Requests:A formal change is outlined in the design change request, whenever the need for change in functional specification arises throughout the development process.
  5. Logic Specification:The programming structure (including code modules) and their relationships with different data parameters passed in a formal document, are known as logic specification. The logic describes internal interfaces, which is only used by developers and testers. Further, logic specification may prove to be useful for the programmers in carrying out all sorts of fixes.
  6. User Documentation: All sorts of documentation work(except logic specification) involved and used throughout the development process are considered as a reference for preparing technical manuals and online information, to make targeted users aware of the functioning and features of the product.
  7. Test Plan: Development is followed by the testing phase, where testing team is equipped with a test plan comprising of certain number of test cases based on the functional requirements and specification, to verify and validate the intended and desired functioning of the product against it. Basically, testing is carried out at unit, component and system, and is mainly known as Alpha testing. Further, the evaluation of software attributes(beta version) may also be carried out by the group of targeted users under real world environment & conditions, generally known as beta testing.
  8. The Final Product:The final product can be determined as the complete implementation of functional specification & design change requests(either produced from formal testing or beta testing).

The complete cycle is repetitive for the next version of the software, which begins with new requirement statement by using exact feedback from the customers in order to determine actual need from customer’s end.