The software documentation

In this tutorial, we will learn what the software documentation is and how it is done? By Monika Sharma Last updated : April 04, 2023


The software primarily consists of Computer Programs and the associated documentation. We all know that the computer program is the baseline of the entire software, but the documentation part is also as important as the programming part. This is because the program which is developed by the developer(s) is known only to them. To make it understandable to others, it must be explained how it functions. Now, the developer cannot explain the program code and the operating procedures to each person. So, to resolve this problem, the documentation of the program is done.

What is software documentation?

The documentation contains everything about the program code of the software. How it works, how the operations are being performed in it, how we can operate that software, everything. So, with the help of this, any person (user) who know nothing about that software can know how to operate it and work with it.

Documentation not only helps the users which are present at the final level of the software production, it is also very efficient in explaining the time to time developments in the software while its building and development process itself because a software is developed by so many people and not by a single person. So, each person that is involved in its development must know what and how much work has been done on the software. So, for this, the person can simply refer to the documentation that has been made. So, it is also important that a proper documentation of the software is prepared form time to time while the development phase of the project itself.

Types of software documentation

There are mainly four types of documentations that are prepared for any software:

  1. The analysis and specifications Manual
  2. The Design Manual
  3. The Implementation Manual
  4. The Testing manual
software documentation

Each of these manual is for the different phases of the Software,

1) The analysis and specifications Manual

The analysis and specifications manual is for the Requirement analysis phase.

2) The Design Manual

The Design manual involves all the details about the design of the project that is done after the requirement analysis has been done (i.e. in the Designing phase).

3) The Implementation Manual

This manual involves each addition or modification that is done while the software is in the development phase. When different developers together work on any project, they refer the implementation manual time to time to keep track of all the final changes that have been made by the other developers in the software program.

4) The Testing manual

The testing manual consists of the results that the software produces on providing specific inputs. The tester checks the software on different levels and notes the results as produced by the software. This testing manual is then referred before finalizing the software. If the results produced by the software are not satisfactory, then it is again sent for some modifications and improvements. Else, the project is finalized and released to the users.

After the software is released to the users, there are separate documentations for the users for understanding and operating the software. Those are included in the Operating Procedures.

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