Difference between 'mandatory', 'read only', 'optional'

Posted on 2008-10-07
Last Modified: 2013-11-13
I must write a specification document for a new software interface but I have some problem to define a component as 'mandatory', 'optional' and 'read only'.

It's maybe an easy question but i need somme example for each case to really well understand.
Thanks in advance
Question by:yougy
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LVL 45

Expert Comment

ID: 22665789
Mandatory - must comply. A failure to comply would mean non-compliance to the standard

Optional - Vendor's option to implement. Product would not be called non-compliant if it does not provide an optional feature

Read Only - Something that cannot be modified.

Author Comment

ID: 22666556
Could you please give me some example for each. ? For example : a button, a text input, a text zone, etc.
LVL 45

Expert Comment

ID: 22666571
Not sure what exactly are you looking for in terms of example ... If your interface requires a component to be present without fail it will be mandatory, if your interface can do without a component but it would be nice to have then it would be optional and so on ...

If you can give some more details about what you are doing and shed some light as to what kind of example you are looking for, may be I can provide a better answer.
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Author Comment

ID: 22667598
I have an interface with 2 tabs.
on the first one (select tab), there is a datagrid filled in with n lines and 4 columns (1 picturebox and 3 text zones). Some columns could be empty for certain lines.
If I select one item and I puch on a button, the second tab is enabled and information of my item is displayed in specific field(1 picture box for the thumbnail and 1 text zone for the 3 text columns) on the second tab (search filter tab). On this second tab, there are some text input fields and listmenu's for searching information related with the selected item.

Then I need to define for all my components (button, picture box, text zone,..) if it's mandatory, optionel or read only.
LVL 45

Accepted Solution

sunnycoder earned 350 total points
ID: 22667648
>If I select one item and I puch on a button, the second tab is enabled and information of my item is displayed in
>specific field(1 picture box for the thumbnail and 1 text zone for the 3 text columns) on the second tab (search filter tab).
The information that you "require" to be present for being able to display the second tab would become mandatory. e.g. you must have that button, if it is a catalog, picture might be optional but item ID would be mandatory and price might be read only - unless you want user of your system to be able to overwrite the price.

Assisted Solution

thomasphlips earned 150 total points
ID: 22833329
1st tab: the columns that could be empty are clearly "optional", the columns that are not allowed to be empty are "mandatory", anyway all the information on the first tab seems to be "readonly" (you just show the information, the user is not able to edit the information).

2nd tab: all the text input fields are NOT "readonly", I'm not sure from your input, but I would say probably none of these are "mandatory" by itself, but at least one of these fields needs a value entered by the user (otherwise you don't know what to search on), so it is only "mandatory" to enter a value in at least one of the text boxes.

If you would attach some screenshots, we could maybe answer your question more in detail.

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