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Interface Specification

Improve architecture and design process with David Bowman’s information management guidelines for interface specification

This site is designed for information technology professionals and information management consultants who want to learn more about data warehouse and business intelligence architecture

It provides a checklist of information management guidelines for an interface specification and a template that can help jump-start a project.

What is a Design Specification?


A design specification documents the interface design for stakeholders and for the technical design team. It is intended to provide assurance that the specification will meet data requirements.
Guidelines
Interface Definition
  • Should document the user id’s of each provider and consumer application;
  • Should document all contact information including application name, contact name, role, phone and email;
  • Should document interface type e.g.batch, on demand; and
  • Should document action needed e.g. use an existing interface, modify an existing interface, develop a new interface or retire an interface.
Interface Overview
  • Should provide background information;
  • Should document design assumptions;
  • Should specify dependencies;
  • Should specify design rationale; and
  • Should provide an interface data flow diagram.
Interface Design
  • Should define extract criteria;
  • Should define header record layout;
  • Should define detail record layout;
  • Should define trailer record layout; and
  • Should provide any additional information required to ensure understanding.
Implementation Specification       
  • Should specify sending application;
  • Should specify receiving application;
  • Should specify transmission method e.g. connect direct, FTP, etc;
  • Should specify production sending machine;
  • Should specify production sending machine host name;
  • Should specify production sending machine IP address;
  • Should specify production sending machine user-id;
  • Should specify production sending machine directory path / shell;   
  • Should specify production sending machine additional information; 
  • Should specify production receiving machine;
  • Should specify production receiving machine host name;
  • Should specify production receiving machine IP address; 
  • Should specify production receiving machine operating system;  
  • Should specify production receiving machine user-id;
  • Should specify production receiving machine directory path / shell;
  • Should specify production receiving machine additional information;
  • Should specify test sending machine;
  • Should specify test sending machine host name; 
  • Should specify test sending machine IP address;  
  • Should specify test sending machine user-id;
  • Should specify test sending machine directory path / shell;  
  • Should specify test sending machine additional information; 
  • Should specify test receiving machine;
  • Should specify test receiving machine host name;
  • Should specify test receiving machine IP address;
  • Should specify test receiving machine user-id;
  • Should specify test receiving machine directory path / shell;
  • Should specify test receiving machine additional information;  
  • Should specify file specific detail;
  • Should specify file description;
  • Should specify originating file name;
  • Should specify terminating file name; 
  • Should specify file type e.g. fixed length file; comma separated file, etc;
  • Should document any object oriented interface details;
  • Should document any tag based interface details;
  • Should document any web services interface details;
  • Should document any database interface details;
  • Should document any other specification interface details;
  • Should document any interface processing rules;
  • Should document any on-demand availability specifications;
  • Should document batch availability;
  • Should document provider application scheduled hours of operation;
  • Should specify outage-handling requirements;
  • Should specify authentication requirements; and
  • Should specify authentication implementation requirements.
Interface Specification Template

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Summary...

An interface design documents requirements for stakeholders and for the technical design team. It is intended to provide assurance that the specification will meet data requirements.

This site provided a checklist of information management guidelines for an interface specification and a template that can help jump-start a project


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