Software Quality Challenges

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Dublin Institute of Technology

ARROW@DIT
Conference papers School of Computing

2004-01-01

Software quality challenges.
Ronan Fitzpatrick
Dublin Institute of Technology, ronan.fitzpatrick@comp.dit.ie

Peter Smith
University of Sunderland

Brendan O'Shea
Dublin Institute of Technology, brendan.oshea@comp.dit.ie

Recommended Citation
Fitzpatrick, Ronan and Smith, Peter and O'Shea, Brendan: Software quality challenges. Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Software Quality at the 26th. International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2004), Edinburgh, Scotland. Published by IEEE.

This Article is brought to you for free and open access by the School of Computing at ARROW@DIT. It has been accepted for inclusion in Conference papers by an authorized administrator of ARROW@DIT. For more information, please contact yvonne.desmond@dit.ie, arrow.admin@dit.ie.

Software Quality Challenges
Ronan Fitzpatrick
School of Computing, Dublin Institute of Technology, Kevin Street, Dublin 8, Ireland.

Peter Smith
School of Computing and Technology, University of Sunderland, Sunderland SR6 0DD, UK

Brendan O’Shea
School of Computing, Dublin Institute of Technology, Kevin Street, Dublin 8, Ireland.

ronan.fitzpatrick@comp.dit.ie

brendan.oshea@comp.dit.ie

peter.smith@sunderland.ac.uk Abstract
This paper sets out a number of challenges facing the software quality community. These challenges relate to the broader view of quality and the consequences for software quality definitions. These definitions are related to eight perspectives of software quality in an end-to-end product life cycle. Research and study of software quality has traditionally focused on product quality for management information systems and this paper considers the challenge of defining additional quality factors for alternative domains like the World Wide Web. Keywords: Research challenges, software quality definitions, quality perspectives, end-to-end product life cycle, strategic drivers, additional quality factors for WWW. necessitates the study of additional quality factors which address access, interaction and navigation. Furthermore the owners of eCommerce solutions have new expectations that they will gain competitive advantage from their sites and this introduces further perspectives of software quality beyond that of product quality. Combining both of these, this paper presents a number of challenges for the software quality community. The paper is based on many years experience of both teaching and researching software quality and is of interest to both academic and practitioner alike. Section 2 considers the focus of the definitions of quality and especially software quality. Section 3 revisits external and internal quality and examines understanding of quality-of-use. Section 4 highlights the many different perspectives of quality in an alternative end-to-end software product life cycle model. This section also highlights an over emphases on software testing to the detriment of managing software quality. Section 5 explains the need for redefining quality in the light of evolving technology and in particular eCommerce.

1.

Introduction

Research relating to software quality is typically rooted in the study of product quality factors and the usability of those products in a context of use [1], [2] and [3]. During this research and study emphasis on quality assurance and measurement is limited to this product perspective. Furthermore, the domain in which quality is measured is limited to that of Information Systems (IS). Insofar as it relates to the IS domain, the paper first considers definitions of quality and other related issues. As evidenced by the needs of eCommerce it is also necessary to broaden the study of software quality to embrace other domains like the World Wide Web (WWW). In this domain, product quality

2.

Quality defined

There are many different definitions of quality [4] to [11]: (Crosby,...
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