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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

define iterative model. example of iterative model. advantages and disadvantages of iterative model. when to use iterative model
Okello Reply
i try out in netbeans this code:public class Profile { private Profile(int w) { // line 1 System.out.println(w); } public final Profile() { // line 5 System.out.println(10); } public static void main(String args[]) { Profile obj = new Profile(50); } } It is the question 5, and the answer is 50
Jacqueline Reply
i need help....Discuss the factors that influence the choice of the software development methodology to use when implementing software projects?(20)
tatenda Reply
The success rate of software development projects can be increased by using a methodology that is adequate for the specific characteristics of those projects.  then the focus on RAD,XP,RUP.
Hemant
hemant hie...it is a presentation i am working on...can you help me wth the introduction....please a powerful one hahahahha
tatenda
yes
Hemant
Define and show all Dipthongs and vowels used in english phonetics
Okendro Reply
what is the software engineering
Axmed Reply
Please how can I create an application?
Eric Reply
please how can I create an application
Nchor
How do we create a software
Florence Reply
give a more direct question
Louis Reply
what is semantics?
amjad
what r the computer codes
Kawuba Reply
machine code, source code , object code, and byte code etc
Hemant
what is software
Manobendra Reply
a collection of program executable by code is called software
Hemant
how can I create a software
Mary Reply
use in any model . then after you create any software
Hemant
what is capability maturity model integration
Muctarr
what is maturity level
Muctarr
maturity level is organization's process improvement achievement in multiple process areas
Hemant
how to trubulshoot is configuration ?
priya Reply
hello
Julius
hello
abeer
hello
Sahil
hello
Natnael
Hello
Eric
Guy's put your answer only
Natnael
click start then click run then type msconfig then ok
Natnael
explain coco model
dawood Reply
it model based on LOC. i.e; number of lines of code.
Hemant
What is a client engineer
buthayna Reply
A Customer Engineer (CE) is a worker whose primary job scope is to provide a service to customers who have signed a contract with the company.
Fokuo
Thank you
buthayna
Hi
ahly
hello,how are you doing?
Fokuo
nothing
Hemant
it's a pleasure meeting you.
Fokuo
tq
Hemant
Nice to meet you too
Hemant
good night
Hemant
hi in here
Asongafac
hello
Eric
please I want to more about this group
Asongafac
pravinkumar
pravin
hello
pravin
I want to create software
Michael
name suraj kumae
Suraj
how can i ave install usb drive but get it not connecting phone
Micheal Reply
hmm
abang
may be it has a problem
abang
maybe u should change usb drive
gabriel
yes
Ali

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Source:  OpenStax, Software engineering. OpenStax CNX. Jul 29, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10790/1.1
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