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Specification (from Latin specificatio , "collection", " Index ") is in contract law determining the precise requirements of the buyer or customer to the properties of a product , a service , service or system .


The aim of the specification is to precisely define requirements and, if possible, to quantify them (e.g. the requirement “easily understandable instructions for use ” expressed by: “a new user understands the system in a maximum of 30 minutes”). This allows the product or service of the contractor to be checked and approved by the customer or buyer when it is handed over to the customer .

A provider can name specifications in offers ; Specifications can also be part of the order or the order confirmation or order . Service descriptions are also used for specification. The contractor or seller can on this basis, the consideration ( payment ) request if the requirements were met by him.

Legal issues

The specification occurs in particular in two areas of law , namely in the award of construction works and in civil law .

Awarding of construction works

In § 7a VOB / A , the technical requirements for the subject of the order are also called specifications. In connection with tenders , the requirement specification is the customer's requirement specification , to which the contractor will respond with corresponding requirement specification as implementation specification .

In practice, specifications do not always contain all requirements for a product or service. Legal requirements, such as B. the prohibition of certain ingredients are not mentioned, and a basic understanding of the average consumer is assumed.

A specification is usually a technical document that is also created to safeguard commercial ( payment terms ) or legal issues ( liability , warranty ). In this sense, it is useful to formulate a specification in such a way that it primarily describes what can be perceived immediately and not the principle according to which something works.

civil right

If the specification is not explicitly agreed with the award of the contract, e.g. B. in the case of a normal purchase of a mass-produced item, the "agreed quality" ( Section 434 (1) sentence 1 BGB ) can be viewed as the specification . B. has committed through a product catalog or advertising . A deviation from the specification represents a material defect and triggers warranty claims. In the case of a work contract , the work is free from material defects if it has the agreed quality ( Section 633, Paragraph 2 BGB). This also applies to specified travel services in travel catalogs ; the package tour is free from travel defects if it has the agreed quality ( Section 651i Paragraph 2 BGB).

Manufacturing activities such as processing , remodeling or processing of movable objects of § 950 BGB are also referred to as specification in legal jargon . It is the processing of a substance into a new thing. This concerns the legal question of who receives ownership of a main item after it has been processed, if its previous components belonged to different owners.

Algebraic specification

A frequently used method for the systematic specification of systems, especially with regard to a subsequent proof of correctness, is the algebraic specification. It is mainly used to specify complex data types and the operations defined on them. The method of algebraic specification is based on the observation that data types are algebraic structures . All-quantified equations, which specify the effect of the operations independently of a concrete representation of the data, are used as an adequate instrument for describing algebras.

Specification in computer science

Based on the general definition, a specification in software engineering describes what a system should do . It describes the functional and non-functional requirements for a system. Typical descriptions for this are use cases and data models . On the other hand, there is the construction , which indicates how something should be solved by a system. This describes the interior view of the system, as well as its functional and technical structure. Different diagram types are used for this, such as class or component diagrams or the entity relationship model .

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Specification  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Gerhard Köbler , Etymological Legal Dictionary , 1995, p. 378.
  2. Florian Nafz, Behavioral Guarantees in Self-Organizing Systems , 2012, p. 74
  3. ^ Klaus Drosten, Termersetzungssysteme , 1989, p. 62
  4. a b http://wirtschaftslexikon.gabler.de/Definition/spezifikation.html point I.3; accessed on February 11, 2015.