22 Sep Wiki SRS – modern way of keeping system’s documentation by eVolpe
In today’s post, we are looking at the improvement by eVolpe in terms of keeping the IT project documentation.
What does SRS mean?
Software Requirements Specification (SRS) is a description of a software system to be developed. It lays out functional and non-functional requirements and may include a set of cases that describe user interactions that the software has to provide. It is also a reflection of the system’s architecture and can be complemented with information on how to realize recognized needs.
How do we do SRS at eVolpe?
At eVolpe, instead of a complicated text file, we recommend you a solution based on popular Wikipedia. The intuitiveness of this web-based project encyclopedia (accessible at any time from your browser after logging into the appropriate individual account) makes finding the information so much easier.
In order to create a modern solution for document sharing, we have used the so-called MediaWiki platform. It is a free and open source software compatible with all the language versions of Wikipedia, a number of Wikimedia Foundation projects, as well as other fully independent wiki like websites. The MediaWiki software has a modular structure and, without much hassle, can be modified and enhanced with additional features.
Wiki SRS vs. implementation methodology
The SRS in the form of Wiki works well in both cases: waterfall and Scrum. Thanks to our solution the eVolpe’s customers receive access to the system specification regardless of the methodology. This, however, takes place under different conditions depending on the mode of deployment chosen by the stakeholder.
The traditional approach requires sharing the documentation as a text file. If using the waterfall methodology, the book of the system is primarily a formal basis of the implementation as well as a specification of an approved solution. In the case of an agile approach, the requirements for the product change on a regular basis and accordingly to the current needs; their form is also much less formal (User Stories).
To meet the expectations of our clients, who regardless from the chosen methodology usually want to receive a clear documentation of the ordered system, we recommend the Wiki SRS solution.
In addition, eVolpe’s good practice is to share the increment of documentation along with the increment of the software at the end of each iteration (if Scrum).
User Experience when using the Wiki SRS
The system requirements together with the information on their implementation status are being sent to Wiki SRS partially automatically. The technology used at eVolpe allows to complete part of the information without the active participation of developers and analysts. Our team created appropriate scripts that automate the generation of project documentation. This means that the SRS can be updated quickly and effortless.
Only descriptions of usability, advanced validation or tasks performed by each mechanism require additional clarification and manual input.
Finding information using the Wiki SRS is extremely comfortable and looks a lot like the Wikipedia.org navigation. It is possible to search information through categories, using internal links, and also typing the queries into an intuitive search engine.
The structure of the individual modules and the mechanisms supporting the software are presented in a table. An appropriate field is being filled automatically with either “YES” or “NO” value. In this way, it is easy to recognize whether the system has specific functions within the area of interest or not.
As shown at the illustration above, in addition to the structural table, the SRS in the form of Wiki also includes a description of the business destination of the module and the screenshot of the in the place within the system. All this in favor of the convenience of using the software documentation, which in the traditional form is sometimes complicated and quite hard to understand.
With the help of SRS Wiki, you can also explain system-supported processes, actions, integrations, etc. In addition to their description, eVolpe’s project deployment documentation enables you to place images, diagrams, and screenshots that illustrate the issues that interest us.
In summary, the solution by eVolpe for keeping software documentation in the form of an online encyclopedia helps to preserve the clarity and transparency of the information contained therein. With just the experience of using Wikipedia, you will be able to intuitively look for and quickly find all that you need to know about your system. To this web-based platform, you can log in from any place in the world (if you only have access to the Internet). This is a far more convenient solution than traditional “analog” documentation. With Wiki SRS, it is also very easy to make changes, update the knowledge base about the implemented software- especially if you have decided on taking the agile way. Moreover, some of these modifications will be done automatically!