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Software Quality Metrics: Selecting The Right Metrics For Your Project

by | Sep 8, 2022 | App Development, Application Modernization, General, ibm i modernization

Monitoring software quality metrics is essential in the development process of any project. Using them, managers can analyze the processes that take place within the team, assessing the developers’ productivity, planning the next projects, determining the need for legacy application modernization, and so on.

There are a lot of different types of software quality metrics. In this article, we will talk about the most popular and frequently used ones so that you can choose metrics that are important for your project.

What is software quality?

Software quality is a measure of how the software fulfills its requirements. There are functional and non-functional requirements. Functional requirements are the functions that a program must perform. They may include some calculations, data manipulation, graphical representation, etc. Non-functional requirements are how the program should perform its functions. For example, security, usability, reliability, etc.

Let’s look at what are the aspects of software quality.

  1. Reliability is the probability of failure and the uptime of the system. The number of defects in the system has a great influence on this indicator.
  2. Performance is the number of resources consumed, the scalability, and the response time of the software.
  3. Security is the ability of an application to protect data from being hacked.
  4. Maintainability is the measure of how easily you can modify, adapt and reuse code. You can improve this indicator using modern technologies and appropriate software architecture patterns.
  5. Testability is the measure of how easily you can test a program.
  6. Portability. This aspect indicates whether you can use the software in various environments.
  7. Reusability is the ability to use code multiple times. Reusability depends on the presence of modularity or loose coupling in the program.

What are software quality metrics?

Software quality metrics are criteria by which you can assess the quality of software and the development process. With their help, you can understand what development process your team used, what goals were set, and how it all affected quality and user satisfaction.

We can divide software metrics into three groups.

  1. Product metrics are product characteristics. For example, complexity, size, performance, etc.
  2. Process metrics. You can use these metrics to improve software development and maintenance.
  3. Project metrics are the characteristics and progress of the project. For example, the number of software developers, cost, schedule, and productivity.

Why are software quality metrics used?

Software quality metrics are used for project management. With their help, managers can analyze the development process at all stages, find flaws, and eliminate them. They can also evaluate the performance of each individual developer and the whole team, and measure the time for planning, development, and elimination of defects.

Some metrics allow you to evaluate the quality of software, the number of defects, and compliance with the requirements. These metrics are very useful as the quality of the software is one of the most important factors that affect the number of users. If you want to attract as many users as possible, you must strive to constantly improve the quality of the product. Using software quality metrics, you can determine if your application is ready to go to market.

In addition, the information you can get from software quality metrics helps you predict, detect and fix bugs, organize work efficiently, and increase developer productivity.

Software Quality Metrics: Selecting The Right Metrics For Your Project

What types of software quality metrics do companies use?

You do not need to track all software quality metrics. It is important for each project to choose exactly those metrics that will help improve its quality. It depends on the services, the goals of the project, and more. Let’s look at what types of software quality metrics exist.

Agile metrics

This group of metrics allows you to improve the development process. This includes the following metrics:

  • Lead time is the time for planning, designing, and developing software. The shorter the lead time, the faster you can release the software.
  • Speed ​​is product development time. This indicator shows how much time the team needs for each stage of development. You can plan future products using existing metrics.

Production metrics

Using these metrics, you can evaluate the amount of work done and the productivity of developers.

  • Active days – the time spent writing code.
  • Breakdown and repair time – the time it takes programmers to fix defects.
  • Task volumes are the amount of code that a programmer can create and maintain in 1 year.
  • Code churn is the number of lines of code programmers added, changed, or removed in a given period of time.
  • Application crash rate is the ratio of the number of application crashes to the number of times it is used.

Security response metrics

These metrics measure how an application secures data and resists hacking attacks, and how security, operations, and development teams are responding to security issues for each supported application. This group includes the following metrics:

  • Endpoint incidents. This is the measure of how many devices were infected in a given time period.
  • Average recovery time is the time between the discovery of a security incident and the fix.

Dependency age

This metric determines whether all dependencies work correctly and whether you need to update them.

Size-based metrics

They measure the quality of an application based on its size and code accuracy.

Feature-oriented metrics

They show how many business features a product provides.

Defect metrics

Using these metrics, you can analyze the number of defects, the time it takes to find and fix defects, and the number of defects per line of code (density).

Customer satisfaction

This is one of the most important groups of metrics since the number of customers and, accordingly, your profit depends on it. This metric shows the level of customer loyalty in the range of unsatisfied to most satisfied as a percentage.

How to manage software quality?

Separate metrics do not give a holistic view of the quality of the product and the processes used. To use software quality metrics effectively, you should group them together and evaluate each aspect of software development separately.

Let’s list some actions that will help improve the quality of the software.

  1. Using a coding standard. This ensures consistency and readability of the code, makes it easier to use and improves quality.
  2. Using the latest technologies will help speed up the development process and reduce the number of defects.
  3. Code analysis by professional engineers allows you to detect errors in the development process and fix them in time.
  4. Refactoring. It helps clean up the codebase and makes it much easier to use.

In order to determine which parts of the software have quality problems and to effectively solve these problems, you can use special tools.

What are the tools to improve software quality?

Improving the quality of software and organizing effective quality control processes are quite complex and at the same time important tasks. Appropriate software can help in solving these problems.

The LANSA platform is a powerful solution that accelerates software development, makes it easier to upgrade older versions, especially legacy IBM i applications, improve scalability, and more. It provides several useful tools, including:

  • Visual LANSA. This is a low-code platform that allows you to create new projects using a minimum amount of code and technical skills. Easily deploy and run projects on any device with Visual LANSA.
  • aXes makes it easy to convert 5250 green screens into web applications without changing the source code. With the ability to simulate human input on the screen in a 5250 application, you can integrate existing 5250 applications with .NET, Java, or other 5250 applications without changing their source code.

Would you like to learn more about LANSA features that will help you improve the quality of your software? Contact us and get comprehensive answers to all your questions.