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Monday, December 12, 2011

What are different characteristics of documentation testing?

Though the term documentation is used is various different ways, it is usually used to refer to the process of providing the evidence.
- Documentation is very important and useful.
- It also refers to the process of the documenting the knowledge about a software system.
- But in the context of software engineering, documentation refers to the process of writing the software documentation.
- Individuals or the professionals who carry out the process of writing up of the software documentation are called documentalists.

Every documentation has to follow up a composure called documentation composure. According to the document composure it should include the following:

- Written information and instructions for any technical or projection performing,
- Data and media of any kind of format and details about the reproduction.
- Other related content.

Today documentation about any software system or application is available in many formats like user guides, user manuals, online help, white papers and quick reference guides. Nowadays documentation in hard copy is rarely seen.

- The documentation for software systems or applications is distributed to the open public via software products, on- line applications and websites.
- Certain principles are followed while preparing the documentation for the software or the hardware product.
- Documentalists always compulsorily follow the ISO standards.
- These standards are not available for the general public.
- Apart from principles, certain guidelines are also to be followed regarding the documentation.

The procedure for preparing a perfect documentation involves the following steps:
- Document drafting
- Formatting
- Submitting
- Reviewing
- Approving
- Distributing
- Repositing
- Tracking

Production of documentation involves contribution from corporate communicators and technical writers since the technical writers have an expert knowledge about the software and also they are good at writing contents. They are able to design the information architecture. They are able to easily cooperate with the SMEs or subject matter experts (who are none other than software developers, engineers and also other people like clients and customers) to prepare the kind of documentation the users need.

In the field of computer science, there exist the following types of documentation:

- RFP or request for proposal
- SOW or statement of work or scope of work
- Requirements
- System design and functional specifications
- Software design and functional specification
- Change management
- Error tracking
- Enhancement tracking
- UTA or user test and acceptance

Nowadays many kinds of software applications are used to create documentation. But, SDF or software documentation folder is the most used software application used by the engineers to create the documentation for the software system or application.

While the development of the software system or the application is in progress, the software engineers keep a written record detailing the build of the application which essentially includes an interface section, a requirements section in order to provide more details about the communication interface of the software system or application.

- Usually a notes section is provided giving the details about the proof of the concept, tracking errors and enhancements.
- Apart from this a testing section is also included to give the details about how the software system or application was tested.
- The documentation confirms to the requirements and specifications stated by the client or the customer.
- The final documentation is a detailed description of the build and design of the software.
- Apart from this, it lays down the instructions for installing and uninstalling the software.
- Documentation testing is thought of as the most cost effective testing.
- Any discrepancy in the documentation will cost too much.
- The documentation is tested in a variety of ways to check the degrees of the complexity of the software system.

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