Software requirements are fundamental in software development, detailing what a system is expected to do and the constraints on its operations. The IEEE Standard Glossary of Software Engineering Terminology offers a threefold definition:
- User Needs: A condition or capability needed by a user to solve a problem or achieve an objective.
- System Necessities: A condition or capability that a system or component must meet or possess, often to satisfy formal requirements like contracts or standards.
- Documented Conditions: A documented representation of the above conditions or capabilities.
The process of handling software requirements typically involves elicitation, analysis, specification, and management. These steps ensure that the software effectively meets user needs and system requirements.
Additionally, in software release notes, “software requirements” may refer to necessary software packages required for building, installing, or using a specific software product. This usage underscores the importance of understanding the dependencies and prerequisites for software functionality.
In computers, software requirements usually refers to what Operating System version you need for a program, application, or other software function to run on. For example, if something requires Windows 10 or greater, you may not be able to use it on Windows 8, Windows 7, etc. or any prior version.
When it comes to mobile device applications you might hear that something only works on iOS version X.X or newer. For example, Facetime Screen Sharing came out on iOS or iPadOS 15.1 or later and MacOS 12.1 or later – so the “software requirement” would mandate that both the Facetime caller and the Facetime call recipient are using that version of iOS (or newer) or the functionality won’t work.
When I’m not writing about tech I’m playing with my dog or hanging out with my girlfriend.
Shoot me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to see a topic discussed or have a correction on something I’ve written.