<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
This module provides an introduction to the principles and concepts relevant to the software design. It examines the role and context of the design activity as a form of problem-solving process, describes how this is supported by current design methods, and considers the strategies, strengths, limitations, and main domains of application of these methods.

Introduction

Software design is a process of defining the architecture, components, interfaces, and other characteristics of a system or component and planning for a software solution. After the purpose and specifications of software is determined, software developers will design or employ designers to develop a plan for a solution.

A software design may be platform-independent or platform-specific, depending on the availability of the technology called for by the design.

Viewed as a process, software design is the software engineering life cycle activity in which software requirements are analyzed in order to produce a description of the software’s internal structure that will serve as the basis for its construction. More precisely, a software design (the result) must describe the software architecture and the interfaces between those components. It must also describe the components at a level of detail that enable their construction.

Software design plays an important role in developing software: it allows software engineers to produce various models that form a kind of blueprint of the solution to be implemented. We can analyze and evaluate these models to determine whether or not they will allow us to fulfill the various requirements. We can also examine and evaluate various alternative solutions and trade-offs. Finally, we can use the resulting models to plan the subsequent development activities, in addition to using them as input and the starting point of construction and testing.

In a standard listing of software life cycle processes such as IEEE/EIA 12207 Software Life Cycle Processes, software design consists of two activities that fit between software requirements analysis and software construction:

  • Software architectural design (sometimes called top-level design): describing software’s top-level structure and organization and identifying the various components.
  • Software detailed design: describing each component sufficiently to allow for its construction.

Concepts of software design

The concepts, notions, and terminology introduced here form an underlying basis for understanding the role and scope of software design.

General design concepts

Software is not the only field where design is involved. In the general sense, we can view design as a form of problem-solving. For example, the concept of a wicked problem–a problem with no definitive solution–is interesting in terms of understanding the limits of design. A number of other notions and concepts are also of interest in understanding design in its general sense: goals, constraints, alternatives, representations, and solutions.

Context of software design

To understand the role of software design, it is important to understand the context in which it fits, the software engineering life cycle. Thus, it is important to understand the major characteristics of software requirements analysis vs. software design vs. software construction vs. software testing.

Questions & Answers

how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Good
configration management
Ravi Reply
what is a computer software
Chinaza Reply
Computer software is programming code executed on a computer processor at either the machine-level or the level of the operating system. ... The physical components of a computer are the hardware, and the digital programs running on the hardware are the software.
SATYAM
what is sofftware
Mohammed Reply
Software, in its most general sense, is a set of instructions or programs instructing a computer to do specific tasks. Software is a generic term used to describe computer programs. Scripts, applications, programs and a set of instructions are all terms often used to describe software.
SATYAM
how to open a software company
SATYAM Reply
draw context model for a patient information system in a hospital
shruti Reply
how to activate Microsoft word
Matthew Reply
To activate Microsoft word, please follow these steps below: 1. On windows 8.1 or Windows 10, choose start. 2. Scroll down through your apps and choose Microsoft office- the tile with the Office logo. 3. In the windows that open, choose Activate. 4. Do one of the following:
Abdul
. If you are asked to sign in with your Microsoft account, that means you do not need a product key. proceed to the next step below and enter your Microsoft account. OR . If you are asked to enter a product key, this means a key was included with your purchase.
Abdul
Look for it on your Certificate of Authenticity or a card in the packaging. If you cannot find it, contact your reseller. The key uses a combination of 25 letters and numbers and looks this: xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx. Enter your key in the space provided. 5. Sign in with your Microsoft account
Abdul
to activate the Office product that came with your device.
Abdul
What can we do with cmd
Ibrahim Reply
what is software
Igho Reply
is set of instructions (generally referred to as code), that is positioned between you and the device hardware, enable you to use it .
Abdul
that's what a software can be defined as.
Abdul
what is white box testing
MUNEIAH Reply
What is software life cycle model? Why is it important during the development of a large softwre products
ramsahay Reply
explain About various types of software quality metrics
vijay Reply
I study software assignment course
Raza Reply
what is re process
naveen Reply
how to make software development projects
suresh Reply

Get the best Software engineering course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Software engineering. OpenStax CNX. Jul 29, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10790/1.1
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Software engineering' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask