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Topics: Software quality, Software engineering, Quality assurance Pages: 8 (1851 words) Published: September 22, 2014
Quality Concepts in Software Engineering
software quality refers to two related but distinct notions that exist wherever quality is defined in a business context: Software functional quality reflects how well it complies with or conforms to a given design, based on functional requirements or specifications. That attribute can also be described as the fitness for purpose of a piece of software or how it compares to competitors in the marketplace as a worthwhile product. Software structural quality refers to how it meets non-functional requirements that support the delivery of the functional requirements, such as robustness or maintainability, the degree to which the software was produced correctly. Structural quality is evaluated through the analysis of the software inner structure, its source code, in effect how its architecture adheres to sound principles of software architecture. In contrast, functional quality is typically enforced and measured through software testing. Software quality measurement quantifies to what extent a software or system rates along each of these five dimensions.{Reliability, Efficiency, Security, Maintainability and (adequate) Size.} Reliability: An attribute of resiliency and structural solidity. Reliability measures the level of risk and the likelihood of potential application failures. It also measures the defects injected due to modifications made to the software (its “stability” as termed by ISO). The goal for checking and monitoring Reliability is to reduce and prevent application downtime, application outages and errors that directly affect users, and enhance the image of IT and its impact on a company’s business performance. Efficiency: The source code and software architecture attributes are the elements that ensure high performance once the application is in run-time mode. Efficiency is especially important for applications in high execution speed environments such as algorithmic or transactional processing where performance and scalability are paramount. An analysis of source code efficiency and scalability provides a clear picture of the latent business risks and the harm they can cause to customer satisfaction due to response-time degradation. Security: A measure of the likelihood of potential security breaches due to poor coding practices and architecture. This quantifies the risk of encountering critical vulnerabilities that damage the business. Maintainability: Maintainability includes the notion of adaptability, portability and transferability (from one development team to another). Measuring and monitoring maintainability is a must for mission-critical applications where change is driven by tight time-to-market schedules and where it is important for IT to remain responsive to business-driven changes. It is also essential to keep maintenance costs under control. Size: While not a quality attribute per se, the sizing of source code is a software characteristic that obviously impacts maintainability. Combined with the above quality characteristics, software size can be used to assess the amount of work produced and to be done by teams, as well as their productivity through correlation with time-sheet data, and other SDLC-related metrics. ISO/IEC 9126

The fundamental objective of this standard is to address some of the well known human biases that can adversely affect the delivery and perception of a software development project. These biases include changing priorities after the start of a project or not having any clear definitions of "success." By clarifying, then agreeing on the project priorities and subsequently converting abstract priorities (compliance) to measurable values (output data can be validated against schema X with zero intervention), ISO/IEC 9126 tries to develop a common understanding of the project's objectives and goals. The standard is divided into four parts:

Quality model
Functionality - A set of attributes that bear on the existence of a set of...
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