Types of Software Documentation

There are two types of software documents that can broadly be classified into the following:
1. Internal Documentation
2. External Documentation

Internal Documentation:

Internal Documentation is the code comprehension features provided as part of the source code itself. Internal Documentation is provided through appropriate module headers and comments embedded in the source code. It is also provided through the useful variable names, module and function header code indentation, code structuring, use of enumerated types and constant identities, use of user-defined data types etc.

External Documentation:

External Documentation is provided through various types of supporting documents such as users Users manual, software requirements documents, design documents, test documents etc.
A systematic software development style ensures that all these documents are produced in an orderly fashion.

Importance of Software Documentation:

Good Software Documentation is very useful for the following purposes:

i. Good documents enhance the understandability and maintainability of a software product. They reduce the effort and time required for maintenance.
ii. Use documents to help the users effectively use the system.
iii. Good documents help in effectively handling manpower problems. Even when an engineer leaves the organization and a new engineer comes in, he can build up the required knowledge easily.
iv. Production of good documents helps the manager in effectively tracking the progress of the projects.