|SOFTWARE QUALITY ANALYSIS
Key quality metrics, such as system availability, operational problems / failures and project completion statistics are often maintained by IT shops. However, organizations typically lack the resources to dig deeper into these metrics to find the root causes of problems. Instead, fixes are installed, applications are patched and the immediate problem or emergency is averted. In some cases, procedures may be put in place to avoid the problem happening again.
Instead of this, rather reactive approach to managing software, Mapador Inc. offers a pro-active solution. On the one hand, Mapador’s technology can target an individual application to improve its performance and quality. On the other hand, our technology provides up-to-date software quality metrics across all applications, allowing organizations to improve the overall quality of their applications. In both cases, Mapador’ technology pin-points areas of improvement opportunities and thus helps to reduce maintenance costs and avoid system downtimes before they occur.
|TARGETED APPLICATION QUALITY
Applications written many years ago or utilizing outdated technologies are often left to operate as ‘black-boxes’. In many cases, little or no in-house knowledge remains to improve the application’s performance or reliability. Enhancing or replacing these applications is not even attempted as organizations are afraid to even touch the application.
Mapador Target can intelligently understand and map out these applications, regardless of platform or language, and thus provide a roadmap for improvements or outright replacement. Output from our solution includes:
We recommend assessing an older application before any Application Migration activity occurs. First, the assessment may reveal that the application can be brought up to date and into a maintainable status without costly replacement or migration. Second, the source of any application migration project should be well understood. Without such detailed knowledge of the old application, many migration projects fail to create an effective new application. Moreover, unused areas of the application should be removed from the scope of migration, thus reducing complexity and costs.
|PORTFOLIO-WIDE APPLICATION QUALITY
The measurement of quality requires the collection and analysis of quantitative information, usually stated in terms of metrics. The value of a metrics program is to measure the quality of software products being produced, to determine areas where improvements are required and ultimately to measure whether the improvement programs are having the desired effect.
Software quality metrics focus on the quality aspects of the product, process, and project. These metrics can be divided further into end-product quality metrics and in-process quality metrics. Software quality engineering has two main stages:
Quality is viewed from the entire software life-cycle perspective, not simply as a check on the accuracy and performance of the developed code. Software quality metrics also include metrics that measure the quality of the maintenance process.
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|Utilizing Mapador APMMapador APM provides a proactive method of collecting key software quality measures and distributing these measures throughout the IT organization via a web-based portal. In addition, these measures can be refreshed on a continuous basis as applications are modified and additional issues are encountered.
1. Problem Analysis
Traditionally, quality involves measuring the problems (also called bugs, defects, failures) encountered when using software. These problems can occur in several categories including:
Statistics for these problem categories described above are usually recorded in a variety of tools and methods. Client / user problems are typically gathered by Help Desks or customer services representatives. Operations problems are typically collected by operations staff and relate to systems failures and outages. These problems are recorded using both custom in-house tools and commercial tools.
Mapador’s technology can parse these problem logs and relate the problems back to the underlying application and system objects.
2. Linking to Application Software Objects
While problem statistics often provide a base understanding of the number of problems that have occurred, deeper understanding of the causes of those problems requires that the problems be linked back to other information. Linking the problem logs to:
|The better understanding provided by Mapador’s technology ensures that action plans addressing these problems are more focused and effective.|
End-product quality is usually measured by the number of “bugs” (functional defects) in the software or by how long the software can run before a critical failure (a “crash.”) The previous diagram showed application-based software quality metrics being derived based on linkages between production problem logs and application object information. Several end-product or production software quality metrics can be derived as follows:
4. Test Coverage Metrics
Mapador’s technology can also link to test cases stored in automated test tools, Excel spreadsheets or Word documents. These test cases can then be linked to application objects to understand the test coverage for objects such as web pages, windows, screens and batch jobs.
5. In-Process Metrics
One of the goals of a metrics program is to understand the development process and to learn to engineer quality into that process. In-process quality metrics play an important role. However, in-process quality metrics are usually less formally defined than end-product metrics, and their use varies greatly among software developers. Some of these metrics are listed below:
These metrics can be correlated with the production or end-product metrics described above to understand how development practices affect the resulting production software.
6. The Process
Mapador APM forms the backbone of a proactive software quality metrics and quality improvement program. The following outlines the process for utilizing the product in a quality improvement program:
Mapador’s technology can form the heart of a continuous quality improvement program. Additional metrics can be defined within Mapador APM on a continuous basis as improvement concentrates on other aspects of the IT organization.