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Software Design Specification Document Essay

1. Introduction
1.1 Purpose of this document describes the purpose of the document, and the intended audience.

1.2 Overview provides a brief overview of the product defined as a result of the requirements elicitation process.

I am working for M. Bufton which is a small engineering/prototyping company, which is in the process of expanding. They currently have a small workshop unit and office, but are looking to expand into the adjoining building. They have 20 PCs that are of mixed age and specification as well as 4 laptops. In addition to their office machines they have 2 CAD/CAM machine tools, an extrusion polymer 3D printer and a full (manual) machine shop. They employ 30 staff in various roles.

Mrs Megan Bufton is a Newtown native, and speaks Welsh as her first language. All of the reports and other documentation need to take this into account.

Initially, I have been tasked with improving the basic processes, procedures and documentation required for their business systems.

However due to their rapid growth in the use of 3D printing the company is planning to franchise their operation and with the help of their intended franchisees open additional sites across the country as soon as possible. The company proprietors have decided that in order for their business to expand further and create a brand recognised as offering a wide choice of rapidly designed and developed products with simplicity of operations they need strong support systems for franchisees. To keep costs low they will need a computerised system to manage all the company’s orders. The company’s proprietors have heard about databases but have no idea what they are or how they will benefit the company.

Bufton’s company currently collects all regular orders in an Excel spreadsheet. They find the spread-sheet difficult to use and keep having to type in the same data for each customer order, which has led to data entry errors and subsequent inconsistencies in the data held. The spread-sheet doesn’t allow for effective retrieval of information and does not offer any reporting facilities for printing off documents such as invoices and outstanding payments.

As their resident IT specialist I been seconded into developing a system based on database software to deal with Bufton’s orders.

2. General Description
2.1 Product Functions
Describes the general functionality of the product, which will be discussed in more detail below.
2.2 User Characteristics
Describes the features of the user community, including their expected expertise with software systems and the application domain.


I have made the program as direct as possible. You can search forms for specific data, add data, delete data with cascading updates and deletes and you can view reports for a quick overview of your data. The program does not have any unnecessary features.

User in control

The user can modify the system how they like, they can create new reports for specific criteria, they can view the data any way they like and have clear, easy to use buttons on the forms to navigate through them with ease.


The forms, reports and database is consistant, the layouts are the same and they look similar and proffesional. The navigational buttons are all in the same place and are the same size. I have added a picture to the company form as I was going to have a different related background on each but I didn’t have time to change the photo or seasrch for other related images for the other forms.


My error messages contain a clear description of which characters must be entered into the field, you can then click ok and edit your entry. You cannot click onto another field untill the field you are on contains the right criteria.


I have used reports for clear viewing of data so you can see clearly and quickly what stock is selling etc and I have input masks and validation rules on many fields so if the wrong information is entered an error message will appear. This helps to keep the referential integrity.


I have made the database as logical as possible with fields in the right order and I have made the reports and forms as eye pleasing as possible by using pictures, colours and a consistant layout.


Using forms and reports I have made inputting data and pinpointing data as easy as possible. I have used a well known program to develop my software so most people will know how to use it anyway, I have also made a switchboard where the user can go from a menu to any form they want to view and a button on each form to take you back to the menu, ready to select another form.

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