The System Context. The Foundation For Your Products.

What is the system context, why is it important and how do you keep track of your system?

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The planned system element is at the center of the diagram. It represents the system to be developed, describes the scope and the system’s functions.

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Actors are users, devices or neighbouring systems that interact with the system.

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In diagrams, a system context element represents an element that is either inside or outside the system context.

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System context elements that are inside the system context are connected to the system through an information flow.

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Laws, norms and other documents can have an impact on the system. They are connected to the system through a rule relationship.

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This is an example of a system context element that is not part of the system context. It is not connected to the system.

What is the System Context?

The term system context refers to the environment of your system. A system to be developed never stands on its own but is connected to its environment.

In the example above you see an example for the system context of a software installed on a television receiver. This software interacts with a number of devices, other software and of course the viewer. In addition, during its development process a number of laws, norms, guidelines and style guides have had an impact on the final design of the system. In reality your might define a requirement for the software that it may be barrier-free, or that it offers support for all current smartphone operating systems. This poses no problem if these elements are included in the system context analysis right at the beginning of a project. Supplementary changes late in the development process result in technical modifications that are difficult to implement and expensive. Maybe an incomplete product has to be marketed and sold.

Apart from the system and its context there is the irrelevant environment which contains everything that has no impact whatsoever on the system and its development.