Software Maintainability


Objective measurement and improvement of source code quality

Although a great deal of money is spent on software development, within the life cycle of a software product, maintenance and adaptation is by far the costliest item. The maintainability of software is therefore the most importance influence on the overall costs that has to be planned for over the system lifetime, from development through use and up to replacement. For its part, the maintainability of a software is mostly influenced by the quality of the source code. It is therefore in the interest of users who order individual developments, but also in the interest of software manufacturers, to develop easily maintainable codes and to implement Best Practices throughout the sector. 

In cooperation with the Software Improvement Group (SIG), TÜViT has developed standard criteria and also a method of evaluation for the quality of source code. Following conclusion of a confidentiality agreement with the customer, partly automatic and therefore objectivised analyses of the source code and measurements of its quality are carried out.

In addition to code analysis, information regarding the technical, sector-related and economic framework of the project is collected.  Based on this information, TÜViT experts submit proposals as to how and where useful improvements can be achieved in the code. Based on a comprehensive reference database, the code quality of each system is evaluated by means of comparison within the industry sector or within systems using the same implementation technology. This enables objective measurements of the code quality in accordance with ISO/IEC 25010. Following successful testing, the TÜViT issues the “Trusted Product Maintainability” certificate and publishes it on the TÜViT website.

By undergoing checks of their code quality, software providers can make use of the benefits of this testing approach for longer-term projects.  Experience shows that objective testing of the code quality and therefore of maintainability has a positive effect on the whole culture of the product, as the quality that is being produced can be established beyond doubt at any time. Software manufacturers can demonstrate their competence from the very beginning and customers receive important indications of the “inner qualities” of the finished product.

  • Discussion of the development goals with the IT management
  • Analysis of the source code
  • Measurement of the code quality
  • Evaluation of maintainability according to ISO/IEC 25010
  • Advice on the improvement of architecture and coding
  • Creation of an evaluation report
  • Certification of the code quality according to the Trusted Product Maintainability scheme
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IT Quality

TÜV Informationstechnik GmbH
Langemarckstrasse 20
45141 Essen, Germany

Robert Baggen

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