What Is Functional Requirement?

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Imagine you're building a robot. The functional requirements would be like a list of instructions you give the robot so that it knows what it should do. It's like telling the robot, "When you see a red ball, pick it up and put it in the blue box." That's a functional requirement - a clear statement of what the robot is expected to accomplish, but operational requirements aren't just for robots. They can apply to many things, like software applications or systems that process data. For example, if you're building a weather app, the functional requirements would be like a recipe that tells the app what to do with all that weather data. It's like saying, "When you get the temperature and humidity data, calculate the dew point and display it on the screen." That's another example of a functional requirement. Functional requirements can relate to both hardware and software. They're like the rules that govern how a system should behave. For instance, if you're building a self-driving car, the functional requirements would be like the instructions that tell the vehicle how to navigate, avoid obstacles, and follow traffic rules. It's like saying, "When you see a red light, stop the car. When you see a green light, go!" Those are functional requirements that define how the car should function. Functional requirements can also come in documents explaining how a system should behave in a particular environment. It's like giving the system a manual that tells it what it's supposed to do in different situations. For example, if you're building a system to manage inventory in a warehouse, the functional requirements could be like a guide that tells the system how to track items, update quantities, and generate reports. It's like saying, "When you receive a new shipment, update the inventory database. When an item is out of stock, send an alert to the warehouse manager." These are all examples of functional requirements that guide the system's behavior. Now, here's the fun part. Functional requirements are like the "what" of a system, while system design is like the "how." It's like figuring out how to solve a problem using creativity and technical skills. Functional requirements give you a goal, and system design is your way of achieving that goal. It's like saying, "Okay, we need to build a robot that can pick up red balls and put them in blue boxes. How are we going to do that? Let's design a robotic arm with sensors and actuators that can do the job!" That's system design - creating creative solutions to meet functional requirements. So, functional requirements are like the instructions you give to a system, telling it what it's supposed to do. They can be in the form of documents describing the system's expected behavior and relate to hardware, software, or both. And system design is like the creative process of figuring out how to achieve those functional requirements. It's like solving a puzzle and developing a plan to make things work. That's the beauty of applicable requirements and system design - they work hand-in-hand to create unique systems that can do incredible things!

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