Software Metrics Calculator

Overview

The primary task of software metrics (code metrics) is to determine the presence and measure the value of properties material to software development. This makes it possible to subject the software development process to formal control properties related to software quality and reliability, as well as properties which pertain to the productivity and successfulness of the software development process, can be quantitatively determined. In this sense, software metrics are primarily intended to be used in determining the quality of the software product, but data collected at that time can be used as support for project management and as guidelines for improving the software development process.

Software metrics are built into DAC in a way which ensures easy and straightforward use. The metrics status is equal to that of the other components of DAC (Editor, Graph, Project Explorer, and so on) and communicates with them, making possible a completely new view of the project, from the standpoint of project complexity and quality, as well as straightforward use of metrics in project development.

The metrics of DAC performs static code analysis in order to introduce a larger number of standard code metrics. The data generated by this analysis forms the Metrics database, which is analyzed through metrics reports, graphics presentations of the desired relations between metrics data. Compliance with user-specific needs is realized by definition of report templates, identification of acceptable parameter values in projects, and definition of specific multi-parameter criteria.

In designing the DAC metrics, special attention was paid to ISO recommendations pertaining to the goals, procedure, and possibilities of software metrics implementation in quality evaluation and in management of software production.1

Numerous and varied groups of participants in the software production process will find software metrics highly useful:

1. Supervisors of large and medium-sized projects:
- In evaluating completed tasks objectively (in terms of both quality and quantity);
- In giving an estimate of the time required for completion of the next task;
- In estimating the resources necessary for software product maintenance;
- In building quality into their software product;
- In keeping up with the dynamics of system development and complexity.
2. Software developers:
- In being the first to spot irregularities in their work.
3. Software testers:
- In enabling them to estimate the precision and degree of testing needed;
- In precision planning of resources to be used in testing.
4. Review teams:
- In identifying easily the key places in the system in need of special attention;
- In prioritizing the reviewing of individual parts of the system efficiently.

1 For more detailed information, please refer to:
ISO/IEC 9126 [1996], Information Technology - Software quality characteristics and metrics - Part 1-3, International Standards Organization, Geneva.
ISO/IEC 14598 [1996], Information Technology - Software product evaluation, International Standards Organization, Geneva.
ISO/IEC15504-7 [1996], Information Technology - Software Process Assessment Part 7: Guide For Use In Process Improvement, International Standards Organization, Geneva.
DA PAM 73-7 [1997], Army Software Test and Evaluation (T&E) Guidelines, US Army Printing and Publications Command, Washington.


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