How Does a Function Point Counter Work?

Function points are units of measurement for assessing software size and complexity. It is a process that breaks down a program into units based on the defined end-user requirements. A function point counter is an automated tool for determining the number of functions within a new application or enhancement.


Function point counters size an application or enhancement based on the number of user inputs, user outputs, user inquiries, files, and external interfaces residing within a program or change. The derived count can be adjusted by evaluating various complexity values based on backup, recovery, data communication, critical performance, code reusability, and other requirements. The complexity values are used to deliver an adjusted or total count, which is then applied to analysis methods to provide a benchmarking score for monitoring development practices and application quality.

Coupling Quality with Function Point Counters

Solutions are available that can automate function point counts. These automated function point counters determine the functional size of an application or release based on static and architectural analysis of the source code.  The advantage of deriving function points from this type of analysis is that it provides additional information about the systems including: overall quality ratings, measures of complexity, architectural blue prints of the systems, complete listing of transactions, and many more metrics. This analysis not only results in an accurate, repeatable function point count, but it provides robust information about the system itself, and the team developing or supporting that system.

Organizations that leverage this additional insight now have visibility into the quality of the output of their development process, an understanding of the architectural hotspots, detailed insight into the systems vulnerabilities, and dependencies. This objective data allows organizations to implement improvement efforts for critical systems across their portfolio.

Function Point Counters Plus Static Analysis Creates Secure, Robust Software

If your organization spends frequent amounts of time maintaining legacy code or making changes in other infrastructure areas to accommodate program enhancements, then a dependable analysis method is necessary to accomplish early detection of potential coding issues. Complex environments consisting of several technologies require specific attention to the practices, standards, and quality output by a development team. Failure to identify potential vulnerabilities or flaws often results in:

  • Increased System Downtime
  • Compliance Issues
  • Reduced Infrastructure Security
  • Higher Costs
  • Increased Risk

CAST Application Intelligence Platform (AIP) is a function point counter capable of assessing multiple languages in complex, multi-tier infrastructures. It offers objective, accurate results based on function point counts and proven analysis methods. AIP checks source code against architecture standards and evaluates quality to help your organization improve every aspect of development. With the provided benchmarking score, you will be able to assess developer productivity, decrease complexity, and eliminate risk as applications are rapidly created or enhanced.

Click here to learn about the benefits of integrating AIP into your code review practices.

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