Activities related to software quality are becoming more and more importance due to:
- The software outsourcing growth. It is worth noting that Spain is becoming one of the preferred nearshoring centers worldwide, with a high number of software factories set up. It causes that, on one hand, organizations that work in "factory mode" have to invest resources to "assure" the quality of the software they make; while, on the other hand, clients must "control" the quality of the software supplied by factories.
- The growing importance of certifications based on models such as CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration), ISO 15504, etc., which stress the quality assurance activities among the key areas in the maturity of an organization that develops or maintains software.
For these reasons, there is a big need for controlling and assuring que quality of information system developments, both by clients and by software factories and other development companies.
The goal of the project MEDUSAS is building an environment that makes software quality control and assurance possible. This environment is based on the new family of standards ISO 25000, known as SQuaRE (Software Quality Requirements and Evaluation), which will replace the current standards ISO 9126, and ISO 14598. By the end of 2007, the first standards from this family were approve, and the remaining standards are expected to be approved officially this year.
The project MEDUSAS enables the assessment of not only the quality of software code, but also the quality of analysis and design models, making it possible to control the quality of the development projects from the first stages of the lifecycle. Among all the software quality characteristics that ISO 25000 includes, this project will concentrate on the evaluation of software maintainability, security and usability.
The next figure sums up the components of the project MEDUSAS, stressing clearly its different components: the methodological component, the technological component, and the management and dissmination component.
- Methodological environment: it consists of the following components:
- Quality assurance methodology: it defines the activities, roles, inputs, and outputs needed to carry out the software quality assurance process. The main software assessment standards will be taken into account.
- Quality models: three different models will be developed considering the three quality characteristics that this project deals with (maintainability, security, and usability), basing them on a set of metrics, heuristics, and checklists
- Technological environment: it gives support to everything defined in the methodological environment, and it consists of two components:
- Methodological support: it represents the technological environment that gives support to the mothodology and the quality models, enabling its practical application in projects.
- Environment for quality measurement and assurance: it represents the set of automatic tools (and its configuration) that enable to carry out the process of measurement according to the metrics defined in the methodological environment.
- Management and dissemination environment: it consists of a set of tools that enable to plan, control and improve the project, as well as to disseminate and present the obtained results.
- Central project repository: the results and developments of the three previous enviroments will be stored in a central repository that enables communication between the four participating companies and configuration management.
The MEDUSAS project is being carried out by a consortium of companies from Castilla-La Mancha, along with the University of Castilla-La Mancha.
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