Software Quality is a degree of conformance. In software development, it is defined as a purpose consistency.
The quality of software can also be described as the potential of the software to work as per user needs. When it comes to software products, it must meet all the developed functionalities in it.
The pertinency of Software quality in this advanced time is increasing. Before delivering a software product, it requires to check its quality to ensure that it is bug-free and working in a proper way.
To do this, at first we need to know what software quality metrics are.
The Metrics for Measuring Software Quality:
Metrics are the pointers that help to understand the property of a product, its process, and projects. Product attributes like its complexity, size, it’s quality, etc.
Process quality used to enhance the quality and speed of development and the attributes of the project contain many resources, values, productivity, and timelines.
The metrics for measuring the quality of software can be technical. But here we will classify it in the below points which are:
2. Code Quality
Every software product developed for a purpose that fulfills after the implementation. It contains a motive and target of the development.
Performance metrics work to measure if the product meets its goal and performs the way it is designed to.
It also refers to an application’s use of resources and how it impacts its scalability, customer satisfaction, and response times. Software architecture and base code design all assist in performance efficiency.
2. Code Quality:
Top-quality Softwares have some attributes that are free from bugs and contain semantically correct code. It increases the efficiency of the product.
Code quality standards can distribute into qualitative and quantitative metrics.
Qualitative metrics measure functionalities like efficiency, readability, maintainability, clarity, and data. These metrics determine how easy to read and understand the code, and whether it is written according to the coding standards.
Quantitative quality metrics determine the size and complexity of the software program that how big, or complicated they are. It also measures the number of code lines and the functions it contains. Measure how many bugs there are per 1,000 lines of code, and more.
All software products developed with a purpose for an end-customer. An essential quality metric is whether the program is user-friendly and workable. It’s also important to ensure the clients’ satisfaction with the features and performance.
Software security metrics check how well an application secures the information against the risk of software violation.
Also, it measures the inherent security of a software program. Also, it ensures there are no unauthorized changes in the output when it hands over to the client. The quantity and intensity of flaws found in a software system are signs of its security level. Poor coding often leads to software vulnerabilities.
When to Measure Software Quality?
The software development team and Quality Assurance (QA) team work together to ensure the quality of the product. To provide the software quality at the highest standard is the main motive of the team.
The development team develops the product as per the need and with the needed features and functionality. The Quality Analysis team does product testing, once developed. The development team also checks, maintains, measures, and enhances software quality during development.
The software quality of the product is maintained at every stage of the development. The team tests them at several points while building, based on the development methods used.
In most processes, two methodologies are being used while developing software applications: Agile and Waterfall.
Since the two methodologies provide the product in several ways, testing of the product is also done in different approaches.
With Agile Methodology:
Agile methodology is an exercise that encourages continuous iteration of build and testing throughout the software development life cycle of the project.
Agile methods are more responsive and flexible, here the development separates into levels and phases. The main goal that is considered is to deliver a high-quality Minimum Viable Product with full functionality and well tested. The duration of the phase is between two to six weeks long.
Products built through the Agile methodologies tested more often. Though, it also needs constant regression testing to make sure that an update has not split the features that tested and passed in previous builds.
So, in this method, we have to ensure the maintenance of software quality at each step and in each phase.
With Waterfall Methodology:
The Waterfall method of software quality is one of the simplest approaches. It divides the software development process into different phases and applies it one after another. The main feature of this model is that each stage of the model is completed before the next stage starts. The process starts by defining the needs of the system.
Products developed using this method need to maintain the quality of the product at every essential, design, implementation, testing, and maintenance stage. Since the testing performed after completion of the development, it needs less time. It also does not need much regression testing.
How Developers Maintain the Software Code Quality?
A perfect developer is one who delivers top-quality software products with the least bugs. As a software development process contains certain bugs that are difficult to fix. And it also matters how developers fix and control those bugs.
This is the reason developers always measure their code quality while developing. During the development, they have the opportunity to determine and fix any issue.
Developers measure their code as per the standard codings, code reviews, and code analyzers. The quality of the software tested in a manual manner with the smallest unit tests. Unit testing is the first stage of software quality calculation. In this testing, the least testable part of the software, a module of the program, or a single function within the code is checked.
A unit test only tests the first stage of the software program, not the other parts. Developers build a shared library of hundreds of such tests, with reusable fixed functionality in the software. So, these tests can be used again and again throughout projects. This helps to detect the errors in the software code at the development stage. Automated testing also performed using a code analyzer, SonarQube, etc that used to checks software for:
Secure coding, Efficiency, Clarity, Maintainability, Certification, Scalability, Proper testing, and Code refactoring.
This measurement helps us to Conduct code reviews and to Maintain coding standards. And also help to Identify bugs and the number of potential bugs in the software. This used to access:
1)The structural complexity of the program i.e the number of code lines.
2)Any flaws found in repositories
Code smells (code that is confusing and difficult to maintain).
3)Code coverage (amount of code covered by unit tests).
4)Code duplication (i.e amount of code that repeats)
How does the QA Team determine the Software Quality?
Quality Analysis testers review all the metrics of software quality through manual and automated testing.
That contains the validity and standard of the product code.
Manual testing metrics split into two classes, Base metrics, and Calculated Metrics.
Base metrics composed of raw and unanalyzed collected data. While calculated metrics obtained from the information collected in the base metrics.
Manual Test Metrics:
These are the important manual test metrics that can be considered for software quality.
1) Test case preparation productivity metrics
2) Test case execution productivity metrics
3)Test duration Unit test coverage (the amount of software code that collected by unit tests)
4) Percentage of tests that Pass/fail etc.
Automation Test Metrics:
Automation testing helps to diminish the manual time spent in testing software quality. These are a few essential metrics for automation testing that can consider:
1. Requirements coverage
2.Complete test duration
3.Unit test coverage
4.Percentage of Pass/fail tests
6.Number of defects
7. Percentage of automated test scope (against the total test which adds manual testing)
8.Test execution (total tests executed during the development)
9.Useful vs. irrelevant results
10.Flaws in production
11.Percentage of damaged builds, etc.
Other Tests for Measuring Software Quality:
Listed below are some other types of testing to measure software quality. These are:
- Regression Testing
- Load Performance Testing
- Functional Testing
- Test to Break
- Penetration Testing
- Security Testing
- User Acceptance Testing
These are the approaches through which one can measure the quality of the software product. Also, teams can measure the quality of the product while developing and can fix it as per the need.