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Different types of documentation manuals in software engineering

In this tutorial, we will learn about the different types of documentation manuals that are prepared in the different phases of software development. By Monika Sharma Last updated : April 04, 2023

Types of documentation manuals

There are mainly four types of documentation manuals that are prepared for any software. Each of them is prepared in a different phase of the software development, like the design manual is prepared while the designing of the project is done and the implementation manual is prepared during the development phase of the software program.

Let us study about each of these manuals in detail,

types of documentation manuals

1) Analytics/ Specification Manual

The analytics and specification Manual is prepared during the initial phase of the software development, which is the requirement analysis phase. This manual consists all that information that specifies the requirements of the software. This information in the Analytics/ Specification manual is represented through,

  1. Formal specification: It describes all the requirements of the software in detail.
  2. Context diagram: This diagram, as the name suggests, gives the context of the Software, how it is going to be.
  3. Data flow diagram: It is the pictorial representation of the data flow that takes place inside the software.

2) Design Manual

The design manual consists of the design of the software that how our software must look (in terms of user interface) as a final product. The design manual more overly consists of,

  1. Flow charts: for representing the working procedure of the software through pictorial representation.
  2. Entity relationship diagrams: This tells us about how any object will be related to other object in terms of relation, cardinality, etc.

3) Implementation Manual

The implementation manual is prepared while the project is in its building and development phase. This manual includes all the brief information regarding the program code of the software and consists of different algorithms and data structures that are used in it and how they are implemented. Hence the Implement manual contains the following,

  1. Source code listing: The code that is developed for that software.
  2. Cross reference listing: The reference of the code module if it is being used in the software but has been developed by someone else.

4) Testing Manual

The testing manual is prepared in the testing phase of the Software. Here, the tester documents the results produced by the software on providing various inputs to it. The tester checks the software for almost all types of inputs which include the best and worst cases of functioning and notes the results. Hence the testing manual consists of the following,

  1. Test data: The data that is provided to the Software as input for processing.
  2. Test results: The Output that is produced by the software for the Test Data provided to it.

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