Glossary

Function Point

A function point is a unit of measurement to express the amount of business functionality an information system provides to a user. The cost (in dollars or hours) of a single unit is calculated from past projects. There are five currently recognized ISO standards for functionally sizing software:

  • COSMIC-FFP: ISO/IEC 19761:2003 Software engineering.
  • A functional size measurement method, FiSMA FSM: ISO/IEC 29881:2008 Information technology - Software and systems engineering - FiSMA
  • 1.1 functional size measurement method, IFPUG FSM Method: ISO/IEC 20926:2009 Software and systems engineering - Software measurement - IGPUG functional size measurement method;
  • Mk II Function Point Analysis: ISO/IEC 20968:2002 Software engineering - Ml II Function Point Analysis - Counting Practices Manual;
  • NESMA FPA Method: ISO/IEC 24570:2005 Software engineering - NESMA function size measurement method version

What is a Function Point?

Do you have a complex, multi-tiered architecture where managing productivity, complexity, risks, and associated costs has proven to be a difficult task? The ability to properly manage these IT factors provides a unique opportunity to decrease costs, improve infrastructure security, and increase application quality throughout your organization.

Whether applications are developed in-house or by a 3rd party, function point analysis provides a dependable approach to meeting today’s most difficult IT challenges. Function points are used to measure business functions as individual units and eliminate the need to read individual lines of application code. By utilizing function points to analyze applications, organizations are better able to assess and compare individual, team, and vendor efficiency throughout the software development process.

Function Point: Defined

Every piece of developed or implemented software is designed to accomplish a defined set of business functions. Function point analysis involves using a standard metric for determining the overall complexity and size of each application within a system. A function point is the standard unit of measurement to define what business functionality is being provided to the actual user.

Function point calculations are used to determine the cost (dollars or hours) for a single unit. They can be broken into two main types of functions:

  • Data Functions – Internal Logic or External Interface File
  • Transaction Functions – External Input, External Output, or External Inquiry

Individual units are categorized for scoring purposes to provide a real-time value for the system as a whole based on the size and complexity of each application. This creates a standardized approach to measuring team productivity, risk, and system complexity without the need for evaluating each line of written code.

Ready to Gain More from the Development Process?

CAST AIP is a performance measuring solution developed to aid in the evaluation of software quality, complexity, risk, and team productivity by using a function point scoring system. Automated Function Point Analysis utilizes a sophisticated algorithm designed to streamline the counting process. Produced counts are not only objective, but also repeatable and cost effective for measuring software productivity.

This form of analysis eliminates the need to evaluate each line of code for every application on the system by automating the process to simplify the identification of issues that:

  • Increase IT Costs
  • Create System Vulnerabilities
  • Generate Higher Risks
  • Reduce Code Quality
  • Go Against Defined Standards
  • Affect Team Productivity

An automated function point analysis solution is capable of alleviating the challenges of spiraling IT maintenance costs, undetected system vulnerabilities, and software quality management in a complex, multi-tiered infrastructure.

Contact CAST today to see how our Application Intelligence Platform (AIP) can help you gain better control of your IT costs and escalate software quality with an Automated Function Point Analysis demo!