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Requirements-Checklist and Template for
Application Interfaces

- Planning - Defining - Documenting -

Important questions (Vendor- and Tool independent) to ask before implementing the application interface or selecting an EAI-tool.
(Requirements checklist 36 pages, template for operational documentation 8 pages)

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| Summary | Purpose | Audience | Deliverables | Table of Contents | Quoted Sources |

Summary and Scope

Answering the questions on the checklist for each interface ensures that you don't forget an important point.

Even if (nearly) no development is be done by your internal IS department as either existing software packages are purchased or bespoke development is outsourced, the challenge left over for your internal IS is the INTEGRATION of a new package or application to existing applications

Different operating systems, network protocols, application vendors and software technology make the building interfaces to integrate applications to become a great challenge. But sometimes just short before - or even worse - after going production - you stumble over a small, often non-technical issue, which would not have been any issue if considered from the very first beginning. Someone just forgot to ask that question.

Part 1, the base document is dedicated to help avoiding such mantraps by asking the right questions. Using this checklist for each single interface will ensure that no question is forgotten.

Part 2, the documentation template helps you to establish very fast a detailed documentation of the interface with all information required by application support team for their daily work, e.g. troubleshooting and outage planning.

There are many excellent products and frameworks for Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) available on the market, which support efficient and reliable implementation of interfaces.

But no matter how capable the EAI tool is, the crucial part is asking the right questions before implementation starts.


Filling this vendor- and tool-independent checklist for each application interface ensures that no important requirement is forgotten. Due to the checklist-style it provides very efficient and fast method of documenting what was required and what was intentionally excluded (and not just forgotten) thus providing detailed documentation auditors want to see.


Technical Architect: If this position exists, that's the point where interface architecture should be defined.

Software Designers, Analyst Developers: In case that the position of Technical Architect does not exist or certain interfaces are not reviewed by him, the developers have to take care about those issues.

This templates significantly support developers in establishing of a structured interface documentation with high relevance for the operations team.

Business Members of Project Team: There are a few functional, non-technical questions which need to be specified by members from business departments.

Test Manager: The long list of requirements will help him to select test criteria

Revenue Assurance: Use this checklist when reviewing interfaces for revenue leaks. Ensure that all important topics are covered (completeness of documentation), ask for details if information is missing.






699 KB

Zip-file containing all of the following files

Within this ZIP-file you will find following files:





347 KB

Requirements Checklist - Base Document (36 pages)


387 KB

Editable RTF-format, can be imported into any word processor.


180 KB

Template for interface documentation. Create for each of your interfaces a detailed documentation using this template. (8 pages)


87 KB

Editable RTF-format, can be imported into any word processor.


163 KB

Some additional explanations (7 pages)

Table of Contents

About this Template 5

Preface 6

Ooops, did'nt think about that .... 6

Scope 6

Purpose 7

Audience 8

Introduction 9

Part 1: Checklist - Requirements for Interfaces 10

Overview 10

General Information 10

Organizational 10

Constraints 11

Constraints due to the source- and destination application 11

(No) Time Synchronization 12

Legal Constraints 12

Other Constraints 13

General Analysis / Impact Analysis 14

Impact of the Interface on the Interfacing Applications 14

Impact Analysis of Interface related Operational Problems 15

Requirements 16

Requirement 1: Dependency / Availability 16

Requirement 2: Intervall Type , Transaction Control 18

Requirement 3: Physical location of the interfacing systems 19

Interface Architecture 20

Requirement 4: Interface Architecture (I) - 1:1, 1:n, n:m, direct / hub-spoke based 20

Requirement 5: Interface Architecture (II) 20

Requirement 6: Interface Features (I) - Content Based Routing 20

Requirement 7: Interface Features (II) Data Transformation 20

Issue 8: Reliability and Integrity, Recoverability 21

Requirements 21

Specifications 21

Requirement 9: Performance and Scalability 22

Security 23

Requirement 10: Authentication, Authorization, Confidentiality, Integrity, Auditing, Nonrepudiation 23

Requirement 11: The interface must be able to work a firewalls with following settings: 23

Requirement 12-1: The interface must work across a VPN 24

Requirement 12-2: MLS (Multi Level Security) operating systems. 24

Requirement 13: Software - Dependencies 24

Globalization 25

Requirement 14: international Character Sets 25

Requirement 15-1: Working Days / Holidays (functional) 25

Requirement 15-2: Working Days / Holidays (functional) 25

Requirement 15-3: Time Zones 26

Requirement 16: Archiving (functional requirement) 27

16-1) Archiving of stored data 27

16-2) Archiving has impact on destination system 27

16-3) Archiving of all information sent across the interface .....(audit trail) 28

Configuration 29

Requirement 17: Configuration (functional) 29

Requirement 18-1: Configuration (technical) 29

Requirement 18-2: Configuration (technical) 29

Requirement 18-3: Configuration (technical) 29

Requirement 19: Reconciliation (functional / operational) 30

Requirement 20: Password change (operational) 31

Specification 21: Responsibility / Handover Point 31

Specification 22: Interface Monitoring 31

Other..... 31

The usage of Hardware-addresses (e.g. MAC-Address, UNIX-HostID) 31

Testing of Interfaces 32

Design Review 32

Test environments 32

Cloning related requirements (3 requirements) 33

Hands-On Testing 35

Documentation Review 36

Production Release 36

Initial Data Transfer 36

Copyright © 2005 Mercury Consulting Limited.