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Monday, February 13, 2012

Why is documentation so important for software testing?


- Software documentation like other kinds of documentation is just a piece of plane text.
- Though just being plain text, its importance in the field cannot be neglected.
- You must have observed that whenever you purchase some software or application it comes with a documentation which contains user’s manual also.
- It is obvious that you must be using this user’s manual to understand and use the software better.
- The manual might have always helped you in diagnosis of your system whenever it might have had a break down, crash or hang.
- Documentation is a great help as it helps us in operating the software system or application.
- Documentation helps different people in different ways.
- Documentation has a very important role to play in the field of software engineering.


1.Requirements Documentation
- This documentation states all the requirements of a software system or application be it functional requirements or non functional requirements.
- Apart from the requirements it also states the features, functionalities, capabilities, attributes and characteristics of a software system or application. - This type of documentation serves as a foundation for the other documentations.

2. Technical Documentation
- This documentation contains the written code of the program and algorithm implemented.
- It also provides knowledge about the user interface of the software system or application.
- It also gives information about the APIs.

3. Marketing Documentation
- This documentation gives tip and information for marketing the software product.

4. Architectural Documentation
- This documentation is all about the internal structure of the software system or application.
- It explains how a particular software system or application is related to the environment and on what principles the construction of the program is based.

5. End user Documentation or User’s Manual
- This document is popularly known as user’s manual.
- It contains all type of knowledge that a user might need to operate the software system or for trouble shooting.

- Documentation introduces the software system or application to the user.
- It contains details about the software.
- Documentation can be thought of as a verified and validated agreement between the product developer and the buyer i.e., client.
- Documentation is modular in nature.
- It serves as road map for the user.
- It is said that if something is not present in the writing, it actually never happened.
- Documentation serves as a proof.
- If you don’t make a write up about the software, the client or the users will think that you are just making up the facts and if the things are there, they might have been done by some body else.
- You need to document every aspect of your software so that if later any dispute arises, none will be able to testify your work and decisions.
- Information contained in the documentation is very crucial and important.
- The software engineering industry is so documentation intensive.

Let us say that you have a program that got some problem like it crashed or hanged and the person in charge of the software is not available. Neither you know the structure and design of the program nor do you have any idea of how to mend the fault in the program. So what you will do in such a case?

Here documentation comes to your rescue.
- You have all the necessary details and tips on how to fix a fault and also the design of the program.
- It is important that the proper documentation is made available to each and every personnel of the software development team.

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