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Writing A Functional Specification
Writers hate coding, and developers hate writing. And never the twain shall meet...except, perhaps, in a functional specification.

| The Big Picture |

Every software application can conceptually be broken up into three layers: the front end, which consists of the user interface and application controls; the middle tier, which consists of the code; and the back end, which consists of the database, data structures and other assorted gremlins.

When building software, the trick is to design in such a way that when you place these layers one on top of the other, the parts fit exactly. This is far more complicated than it sounds, and fairly difficult to do at the best of times. But don't let that discourage you - a number of tools are available to assist in this process...and one of the better ones is called a functional specification.

A functional specification can substantially simplify and streamline the process of application development. Intended to describe how a piece of software works, it provides a ready reference for software developers and aligns large and disparate development teams to a single goal. In the process, it provides technical clarity on how the different components of a particular applications are to be designed, implemented and integrated with each other, and (if used correctly) significantly reduces the time and cost component of any development exercise.

Intrigued? Wanna meet one of these creatures? Flip the page, and let's get started!


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