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Auditing Throughout the Software Life Cycle: A Primer Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131480D
Original Publication Date: 1982-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Document File: 14 page(s) / 48K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

William L. Bryan: AUTHOR [+3]


and Gary L. Whiteleather, CTEC. Inc. Software auditing ensures that software life cycle products evolve logically and traceably, and meet the user's needs.

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This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1982 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society (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.

Auditing Throughout the Software Life Cycle: A Primer

William L. Bryan, Stanley G. Siegel, and Gary L. Whiteleather,

CTEC. Inc.

Software auditing ensures that software life cycle products evolve logically and traceably, and meet the user's needs.

Software has a life cycle. It is conceived, matures, and dies. I f uncontrolled during this life cycle, software, when executed, can produce undesirable results. Auditing is one process that should be performed periodically during the life cycle to reduce the likelihood of aberrant software behavior. Unfortunately, the trend in current practice is to perform auditing sporadically, cursorily, and inconsistently -- if at all. Perhaps a closer look at this function will illuminate its importance throughout the software life cycle and lead to its more frequent and consistent application in software development.

There are two good reasons for examining software auditing:

(1) The presence of software in our daily affairs is increasing, as evidenced by the burgeoning use of microcomputers for industrial, commercial, and personal applications.

(2) Software development and maintenance have always been labor-intensive activities, and the wage spiral of recent years, coupled with declining hardware costs, has pushed increasing software costs into prominence.


Auditing has several connotations. Our usage of the i term can be illustrated by a simple example that is purposely not set in a software context so as to highlight the general aspects of auditing. Highlighting these general aspects will facilitate discussion of the auditing concept in a software context.

Consider two busy executives each desiring to have a custom house built. On an impulse, the first executive telephones an architect to request the design of a threebedroom house. When the architect finishes the design plans, he submits them to the executive. With only a glance at the plans, the executive accepts them and offers the defensive comment, "I never have learned to read blueprints. " He then leaves the selection of the builder to the architect. As a result, the executive never becomes aware that the builder is a personal friend of the architect and has been unable to obtain adequate bonding (and, therefore, little work). The builder is left to his own devices to construct the house. Finally, when it is ready for occupancy, the executive comes to inspect the house of his dreams and . . . we'll let your imagination supply details of the unsatisfied needs, extended delays, and financial nightmare.

Now let's...