How Requirements Modeling helps you with a clear visualization of the software application

Introduction

Companies develop software or a system based on the defined requirements. Requirements mean the needs or capabilities of a system as per the stakeholders’ perspective. These requirements must be complete, concise, clear, and feasible.

But, the requirements are becoming more complex and high in number. So, it is getting difficult for project managers to understand them. Any difficulty in understanding them may lead to surprising outcomes.

That is why the importance of requirements modeling is increasing across the world. First, let’s understand what requirements modeling means.

What Is ‘Requirements Modeling’?

Requirements modeling is the development of different perspectives for the software or system. It includes looking at the problem and the solution from different angles. The different perspectives are called patterns. Each pattern has a different outlook for the needs and capabilities of the system.

With requirements modeling, engineers provide a basic sketch of the software system. The design illustration is based on the requirements defined for the project. This illustration may be in the form of text, a diagram, or a technical representation.

Purpose of requirements modeling

Allows you different perspectives

Requirements modeling allows you to look at the system need from different angles. These angles are the different business functions that will use the system. It creates a basic foundation for software design.

The customer requirements and stakeholder expectations form the requirements models. Such a cross-functional outlook of the system enables you to address all stakeholders’ needs. It also helps you avoid any missing perspective that may affect the final solution.

Reduces risks

With such cross-functional teamwork, you can identify inconsistencies, errors, and omissions. You can evolve gradually through the process of software development. Thus, you can reduce the discrepancies and risks in the system development process.

Serves as a guide

Requirements modeling leads to a detailed plan for the software development team. It is a guide for the developers to follow while developing the software or system. In this way, developers can meet the exact specifications of the stakeholders.

Give an all-inclusive picture

Requirements modeling allows you to have a complete view of the project. For any new employee or senior manager, it allows a quick look at the system in the development process. In this way, you can have a better understanding of the components, steps, and iterations of the system.

Allows different representation

Different requirements modeling strategies lead to different types of representation of software. It may be in the form of text, UML diagrams, or technical representation. It leads to an easier understanding of the requirements and an easier way of testing them.

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Key Benefits of Requirements Modeling

Requirement modeling enables software engineers to:

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Create software models for better understanding

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Get a better clarity of the software requirements

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Get a clear direction to improve the final software solution

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Manage new requirements and concerns in a better way

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Make the final software development process faster and easier

Different types of Requirements Modeling strategies

There are different types of requirements modeling strategies that software engineers can use. These include the following:

Scenario-based modeling

In this strategy, the software engineer considers the actual user’s perspective. This strategy allows an understanding of the interaction of the user with the software. Software engineers study this interaction to develop use cases.

The engineer can distinguish the key features and functionalities the user focuses on. They may depict the use cases in textual format or UML diagrams. UML diagrams are more descriptive with a focus on the process of interaction.

Behavioral modeling

This type of requirements modeling strategy focuses on external events. It assesses how the software responds to external events. The software engineer creates behavioral patterns to form the base for software development.

For creating behavioral patterns, assess all possible use cases. This gives you an understanding of how requirements interact with each other. Find out all the external events.

Now, study the impact of the event on the behavior of each use case. Create a state diagram representing each event and its impact on behavior change. It also depicts the actions resulting from the event.

Flow-oriented modeling

This modeling technique shows the transformation of data as it moves from input to output. So, data objects enter the software, and processing elements transform them. The resulting data objects, after the transformation, come out as output.

The key elements of this modeling technique are:

Flow-oriented modeling

This modeling technique shows the transformation of data as it moves from input to output. So, data objects enter the software, and processing elements transform them. The resulting data objects, after the transformation, come out as output.

The key elements of this modeling technique are:

Data flow diagram (DFD)

Known as a context level diagram, it shows a hierarchy with different levels. In this method, the circle represents the process and arrows represent the flow of data. Rectangles represent external entities that either produce data or consume data. There also exists a data store that only collects data for later access.

Control flow model

If there is no flow of data in a process, then DFD cannot be used. In that case, we use control flow models. Here, events drive the software or system and are represented in Boolean values.

Control specification (CSPEC)

This model depicts the system or software behavior. It results in a state diagram that includes states, events, transitions, and activities. So, the occurrence of an event transitions the system from one state to another state.

Process specification (PSPEC)

It focuses on the processes of the flow model. It is represented in the form of text, Program Design Language (PDL), UML diagrams, tables, or mathematical equations.

Class-based modeling

In this requirements modeling, the software engineer identifies the objects of the software. These objects are then classified into different classes. In this model, objects, their attributes, and behavior are also crucial for software design.

Generally, engineers use the use-case developed from scenario-based modeling to create classes. They separate the nouns from the use-case and segregate them into different classes. The classes can be categorized as:

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Things: Form the information part of the use case

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Roles: People who interact with the software

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Places: Locations that define the context of the case

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External entities: Producers or users of the information resulting from the software

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Events: Activities occurring in the operations of the software

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Organizational units: The teams suitable for the software

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Structures: Related class of objects

Other than classes, the other elements of class-based modeling include:

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Attributes: These are the set of objects that comprise a class

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Operations: These represent the behavior of the class. Operations include manipulation of data, computation, and monitoring of objects.

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Class-responsibility collaborator (CRC) models: It includes the identification and organization of suitable classes for software requirements. These classes must achieve their attributes and operations (called responsibilities). If not, then they interact with other classes to contribute to software development.

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Conclusion

Thus, requirements modeling is important for any software development project. It helps you understand the requirements better. Also, it enhances the translation of those requirements into the final software.

If you have difficulties in requirements modeling, contact a professional IT consultant such as Technovisors. We are an IT consultant and a digital marketing firm in Ahmedabad. Our IT consultants are ever ready to solve all your IT problems.

We help our clients with making the right technology investments that help them achieve business goals. We always stand by you to apply the new technology trends for your business growth. We make the right IT strategy for your business to improve your ROI.

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FAQs

Yes, to get a clear picture of the software, reviewing the requirements is essential.
Not necessary. You can use only one model or you can use many to get a clear picture of the software application. It all depends on the nature of the project and other considerations.

Pathik Shah

(CISA, FCA, CS, DISA (ICAI), FAFP (ICAI))

Pathik is a multi-disciplinary professional with more than 22 years of experience in compliance, risk management, accounting, system audits, IT consultancy, and digital marketing. He has extensive knowledge of Anti-Money Laundering rules and regulations, and he helps companies comply with legal requirements. Pathik also helps companies generate value from their IT investments.