Requirements and Specifications
Smart IoT services demand careful requirements capturing and specification development

A comprehensive description of an IoT service and/or its elements is needed to support the development and verification process. 7layers supports these processes with formal description techniques.

Requirements capturing and requirements specification

Requirements capturing is the first step in a requirements engineering process. The description of a capability or characteristic that provides value to a user or other stakeholder in an IoT Services process has been defined as a “requirement”, whereas a set of specific requirements is called a “requirements specification”. Requirements specifications are used as input into the design stage of an IoT process. Goal is to achieve a complete, valid and processable description of an IoT Service and/or its elements. To establish a complete requirements specification, 7layers performs the following activities:

  • Initial requirements capturing and elicitation
    For this purpose we interview IoT Services stakeholders and potential users about their demands, business cases, user stories etc. We also analyze conceptual papers, feasibility studies, already existing product or services descriptions from various sources.
  • Requirements classification
    Once the requirements have been captured, they are classified according to architectural / design requirements, functional and non-functional requirements.
  • Structuring of requirements
    Requirements are structured according to characteristics such as hardware, software, communications, interfaces, security, electrical mechanical etc.
  • Description  and documentation of IoT process requirements
    After classification and structuring, the requirements are described using formal description techniques. Especially for processes as complex as IoT Services set-ups, the requirements should be documented in a system that allows for continuous requirements management.

IoT Services specification

An appropriate subset of the established requirements will be used to define the basic IoT Service. In some cases additional aspects like environmental or legal requirements, or functional and design aspects may be included in the services specification. All specifications must be documented in a complete, consistent, correct, unambiguous and testable way.

Requirements and specification management

Naturally, the requirements and specifications of the many elements an IoT Service is made of, will evolve during its lifecycle. Initially this is due to the verification processes during the development, implementation and release phases. Once released however, an IoT Service and its elements have to be monitored continuously and adapted to aspects such as market, regulatory, technical or business developments. For this purpose, the feedback from various IoT Services stakeholders, has to be documented, analyzed, priorities and agreed upon.

7layers support these processes by documenting and analyzing change requests, setting-up joint requirements development sessions, establishing a version management process for requirements and a release management process for requirements specifications.

The more complex a product or service is, the more important it becomes to use proven software systems to support the lifecycle management processes of requirements and specifications management. Suitable systems are for example Interlab EVO, Rational DOORS, HP Quality Center etc. At 7layers we take great care, that feedback arising from testing and verification processes can be traced back exactly to their respective requirements, thus easing the lifecycle management process considerably and helping improve the overall quality of service.