Interface Protocol Document


Quick Summary
An annotated outline created as a product or system's architecture is being defined, to specify how the different "building blocks" of the system will interface with other.


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What this is

An Interface Protocol Document is usually created as a new product or system's architecture is being defined. It specifies how the different "building blocks" of the will interface with other.


Why it's useful

A good interface specification ensures that the technical team has thoroughly investigated and identified what interface hardware and/or software each "subsystem" must implement and how the components of the system will work together during operation to execute commands, handle error conditions, etc.

The contents of the Interface Document will be referenced by the various developers who are designing and implementing the subsystem. It may also be used by testers later in the project.


How to use it

  • During the "investigation and planning" phase of the project, high-level system design should be underway. The team may create an architecture document that defines the sub-system blocks that make up the entire system or product being created or enhanced by this project.
  • The Interface Protocol Document (IPD) should either contain a copy of the system block diagram with all its interfaces, or reference the appropriate interface in the Architecture document.
  • The Interface Protocol Document will then specify the details of an interface as noted in the outline starting on the next page.
  • The IPD should be reviewed by the developers involved in the subsystems on both sides of the interface, as well as the system architect. It test personnel will be involved in integrating the system later in the project, they should also review the document to aid their test planning and test case and pass criteria development.

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