• 20 Nov 2012

    The joys of the one page functional specification document

    Forget the details for now, they are not importantWhy is the detailed specification document so rare to find? A one page set of scribbled notes is the single biggest unnecessary risk you can take in any software development project. A concise specification document should always be the first deliverable for any project.

    When you write a decent spec, you only have to communicate how the software is supposed to work once. The clients read it to make sure the developers will be building a product that they want. The developers read it so that they know what code to write, the QA testers can read it so they know what to test for. Simple! So why make life complicated with just a set of notes and a whole bunch of assumptions?

    A good specification document is written in clear and plain language that can be reviewed by the client with minimal technical expertise. It might be very detailed, ...

    • Project Management
  • 05 Nov 2012

    Normalisation. Part 4

    Third Normalised Form (3NF)

    This is the last stage of normalisation, there are further levels but it’s the first three that are the integral ones.

    This level of normalised form is the process of identifying transitive dependencies. As intimidating as this sounds, it really isn’t! These are attributes which depend on fields other than the primary key.

    For example, within the customer table there is a field entitled discountAmount. This particular field is dependent on the membershipType and not the custNo. Therefore, these two fields will be put into a new table. The membershipType will become our primary key, every tables needs one.

    Now we have a separate table, we need a way of linking it to the customer table, the membership type is a part of every customer. To do this we use a foreign key. A foreign key is always points to the primary key in another table. ...

    • Software Design & Development

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