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This useful template is used to assist in designing cloud based software, website and mobile applications. The document shows how the software system will be structured to satisfy the requirements. It is the primary reference for code development and, therefore, it must contain all the information required by a programmer to write code. 

The software design document is performed in two stages. The first is a preliminary design in which the overall system architecture and data architecture is defined. In the second stage, i.e. the detailed design stage, more detailed data structures are refined and algorithms are developed for the defined architecture.

(Project Title)
Software Design Document 
Contact Name (s):   
Date: (dd/mm/yyyy)


    1. Purpose

      Identify the  purpose  of this SDD  and  its intended  audience. (e.g. “This software design document describes the architecture and system design of XX. ….”).

    2. Scope

      Provide a description and scope of the software and explain the goals, objectives and benefits of your project. This will provide the basis for the brief description of your product.

    3. Overview

      Provide an overview of this document and its organization.

    4. Reference Material

      This section is optional. List any documents, if any, which were used as sources of information for the test plan.
    5. Definitions and Acronyms

      This section is optional. Provide  definitions of all terms, acronyms, and  abbreviations that might exist to  properly interpret the SDD. These definitions should be items used in the SDD that are most likely not known to the audience.

    Give a general description of the functionality, context and design of your project. Provide any background information if necessary.


    1. Architectural Design

      Develop a modular program structure and explain the relationships between the modules to achieve  the  complete  functionality of the  system. This is a  high level overview  of how Software Design Document responsibilities of the system were partitioned and then assigned to subsystems. Identify each high level subsystem and  the  roles or responsibilities assigned to it. Describe  how  these subsystems collaborate with each other in order to achieve the desired functionality. Don’t go into too much detail about the individual subsystems. The main purpose is to gain a general understanding  of how  and why the system was decomposed, and  how the  individual parts work together. Provide a diagram showing the major subsystems and data repositories and their interconnections. Describe the diagram if required.

    2. Decomposition Description

      Provide a decomposition of the subsystems in the architectural design. Supplement with text as needed. You may choose to give a functional description or an object­oriented description. For a  functional description, put top­level data  flow  diagram (DFD)  and  structural decomposition  diagrams. For an OO description, put subsystem model, object diagrams, generalization hierarchy diagram(s) (if any), aggregation hierarchy diagram(s) (if any), interface specifications, and sequence diagrams here.

    3. Design Rationale

      Discuss the rationale for selecting the architecture described in 3.1 including critical issues and  trade/offs that were  considered. You  may discuss other  architectures that were considered, provided that you explain why you didn’t choose them.


    1. Data Description

      Explain how the information domain of your system is transformed into data structures. Describe how the major data or system entities are stored, processed and organized. List any databases or data storage items.

    2. Data Dictionary

      Alphabetically list the system entities or major data along with their types and descriptions. If you  provided  a  functional description  in  Section 3.2, list all the  functions and function parameters. If you provided an OO description, list the objects and its attributes, methods and method parameters.


    In this section, we take a closer look at what each component does in a more systematic way. If Software Design Document you gave a functional description in section 3.2, provide a summary of your algorithm for each function listed in 3.2 in procedural description language (PDL) or pseudocode. If you gave an OO description, summarize each object member function for all the objects listed in 3.2 in PDL or pseudocode. Describe any local data when necessary.


    1. Overview of User Interface

      Describe the functionality of the system from the user’s perspective. Explain  how the user will be  able  to use  your system to complete  all the  expected  features and  the  feedback information that will be displayed for the user.

    2. Screen Images

      Display screenshots showing the interface from the user’s perspective. These can be  hand­drawn or you can use an automated drawing tool. Just make them as accurate as possible.(Graph paper works well.)

    3. Screen Objects and Actions

      A discussion of screen objects and actions associated with those objects.


    Provide a cross­reference that traces components and data structures to the requirements in your SRS document. Use  a  tabular  format to show  which system  components satisfy each of the  functional requirements from the SRS. Refer to the functional requirements by the numbers/codes that you gave them in the SRS.


    This section is optional.

    Appendices may be included, either directly or by reference, to provide supporting details that could aid in the understanding of the Software Design Document.

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