This is the 16th article on the System Design and Software Architecture series. In this article, we are discussing the Functional independence in software engineering.

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What is Functional independence?

What is Functional independence_
What is Functional independence_

Functional independence in software engineering is that when a module focuses on a single task.  It can perform with very little interaction with other modules.

In software engineering, if a module is functionally independent of another module, it means that it has high coexistence and low connectivity.

Functional independence occurs when a module (such as a package or class) addresses a specific and limited functional range. The modules only provide interfaces to this functionality. By restricting their functionality, the modules need the support of other modules to execute their functionality.

The functional independence of a module has the ability to judge from using two concepts:

  • Those are Correlation and connection: correlation is the degree to which a module performs only one function. Connectivity is the amount of time a module requires other modules to perform its function.

Importance of Software Independence

Importance of Software Independence
Importance of Software Independence

The goal of active independence is to minimize contact and maximize coexistence.

Since this has many functional independent modules this makes a software system resilient. It is functionally independent because functionally independent modules are dependent on other modules. Also, it is making them less susceptible to modification.

Functional independence makes modules easy to develop and test. Changing the way they perform their functionality will affect the software as a whole.

Functional independence is one goal of hiding information and using modularity. Good information cannot hide unless the software is broken into modules. Unless the software is broken down into modules, there can never functionally independent modules. If no information is hidden from the other modules of the software, each module is always dependent on everyone else to perform its functionality. And any changes to the software will require changes elsewhere in the software to handle them. Functional independence is essential for good software design.

The advantage of active independence

The advantage of active independence
The advantage of active independence

There is a number of benefits to functional independence. Some of the benefits of active independence are as follows:

It is very useful to divide the entire function into a small sub-function for the module. After all the modules are developed, they are integrated and accomplish the main function of the core. That is why all modules should need to assigned independent functions. There does not have to need any work to achieve two modules. Such independent modules are easy to maintain.

  • Less error propagation and increased sensitivity

Functional independence is the key to good design, and design is the key to software quality. So we can try in many designs to make the modules independent of each other. Not only it is easy to understand how a module works, but it is also easy to modify an independent module. Similarly, when system failure is traced back to the design through the code, independent modules help to isolate and correct the cause.

  • Isolation error

When a module is actively independent, it performs its function independently without much interference with other modules. This reduces the likelihood of errors being transmitted to other modules. This helps to easily isolate and detect the error.

  • Ability to reuse the module

A functionally independent module performs a well-defined and specific function. It is therefore easy to reuse such modules in different programs that require the same functionality.

  • Ability to understand

A functionally independent module is so complex that it is not easy to understand. Isolation can understand as such modules have less interaction with other modules.


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