Browse Prior Art Database

A Survey of Standards and Proposed Metrics for Software Quality Testing

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131434D
Original Publication Date: 1979-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Document File: 9 page(s) / 36K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

John B. Bowen: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

[Figure containing following caption omitted: Military standards now contain detailed requirements for software quality. The metrics and techniques described here are being used to evaluate readiness for acceptance testing] Some contend that up to 80 percent of software errors stem from the early analysis and design phases. Still others contend that the majority of software errors are unintended side effects of modifications during the operation and maintenance phases. Admittedly these are important phases in the software life cycle which necessitate careful attention by the acquisition and using agencies. However, an intervening phase -- integration and test -- is traditionally when the customer evaluates the performance and quality of software. Because of the asymptotic nature of software debugging and testing, the culmination of the integration and test phase is a matter of certification by the customer that the software has reached a state of maturity that qualifies for proceeding to the next phase in the life cycle. The certification process is called qualification or acceptance testing and is usually performed after the software has been integrated with the hardware in a test-bed environment.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 11% of the total text.

Page 1 of 9

THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1979 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society http://www.computer.org/ (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.

A Survey of Standards and Proposed Metrics for Software Quality Testing

John B. Bowen

Hughes-Fullerton

(Image Omitted: Military standards now contain detailed requirements for software quality. The metrics and techniques described here are being used to evaluate readiness for acceptance testing)

Some contend that up to 80 percent of software errors stem from the early analysis and design phases. Still others contend that the majority of software errors are unintended side effects of modifications during the operation and maintenance phases. Admittedly these are important phases in the software life cycle which necessitate careful attention by the acquisition and using agencies. However, an intervening phase -- integration and test -- is traditionally when the customer evaluates the performance and quality of software. Because of the asymptotic nature of software debugging and testing, the culmination of the integration and test phase is a matter of certification by the customer that the software has reached a state of maturity that qualifies for proceeding to the next phase in the life cycle. The certification process is called qualification or acceptance testing and is usually performed after the software has been integrated with the hardware in a test-bed environment.

Software quality testing as used in the following discussion includes activities which determine the readiness of the software for formal acceptance testing. Examples of such activities are error rate analysis, regression testing, and endurance demonstrations. These activities are generally supportive of formal testing, but do not focus primarily on the validation of functional performance requirements. In some cases the same criteria used in quality testing can also be used in acceptance testing. The term software includes the computer program, the data base, and associated operation and maintenance documentation.

This article addresses the integration and test phase by surveying military standards for software quality, proposed quality metrics, and techniques

that evaluate the readiness of software for acceptance testing. Some of the techniques discussed, such as providing test result visibility to the customer, test effectiveness, and regression testing, apply to any software life-cycle phase.

Standards for quality testing

Military standards now contain detailed requirements for software quality testing as well as software development methodologies. Military standards establish uniform requirements, which may be invoked for deliverable items, o...