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Are there any documented standards for technical specifications within the IT industry?

In theory, such a standard would be

  • successfully used in practice
  • deals with both software and hardware parts (we develop software and electronics)
  • should be rather modern

We want to stick to one standard and use it in our projects.

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closed as not a real question by Robert Harvey, Dynamic, Yusubov, Glenn Nelson, jmort253 Dec 18 '12 at 4:31

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Welcome to Programmers.SE! I highly recommend you check out the FAQ and familiarize yourself with how questions are expected to be asked and formatted. As it stands, it's difficult to discern what it is you're looking for. Additionally, we don't have enough information to provide you with a useful answer, as it ultimately boils down to "it depends on your specific needs." Feel free to edit your question using the "edit" link beneath it. –  Shauna Dec 17 '12 at 20:09
Define "technical specifications". Are you referring to requirements specs? Design specs? Interface control documents? Testing specifications? –  Thomas Owens Dec 18 '12 at 2:45
Yes, there are System Engineering standards. They are actually not just standards, but rather there is a full Systems Engineering discipline and its body of knowledge. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systems_engineering The guide to body of knowledge can be considered your standards: sebokwiki.org/1.0.1/index.php?title=Main_Page Other standards should be available from the IEEE, ACM, and ISO. The best option might be purchasing a book describing modern approaches in systems engineering and follow it until you find something better. –  user42242 Dec 18 '12 at 20:44

2 Answers 2

I would start with the Wikipedia entry on System Requirements Specifications and drill into each referenced area as necessary, such as with the Software Requirements Specification.

You'll find that the referenced pages then link to external sites or reference particular IEEE documents that will assist you in your process.

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There have been quite a few, mostly from the military-industrial complex.

Start with the MIL-STD-480, MIL-STD-483, MIL-STD-490 trio. (They are long since obsolete.)

MIL-STD-1679 is a Navy standard. It makes one key point, in the form of a required section in one document. EVERY system developed to MIL-STD-1679 practices is REQUIRED to talk about how the system interacts with the All-Weather Carrier Landing System. This requirement cannot be tailored out; it MUST be addressed. If the system does not in any way interact with the All-Weather Carrier Landing System, the document must say that, in black and white. The point that the Navy makes is that the All-Weather Carrier Landing System is IMPORTANT, and ANYTHING that dicks with it in any way needs very serious scrutiny. (Airplanes are expensive, and have long lead times to replace. The same applies to their pilots.)

DOD-STD-2167 and DOD-STD-2167A were quite comprehensive. You should still be able to find them on the Web, although the standards have been withdrawn.

MIL-STD-498 was an attempt to update DOD-STD-2167A. Unfortunately, it came out right around the time the DoD went on a COTS (Commercial Off-The-Shelf) kick, and was withdrawn and the IEEE standards (most notably the 830 and 12207 standards) substituted. DOD-STD-2167A was still in use at the time, and was also withdrawn, for the same reason.

There's also the IEEE 12207 series, but they, unlike the military and DoD standards, are not free, not even close.

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