Why Measure Code Quality?

On average, defects led to costs exceeding more than $60 billion in the United States alone. Are your developers letting poor code quality slip through the cracks? How do you measure code quality and monitor improvement efforts as development rapidly takes place? The costs experienced from poor code quality have four forms:

  • Compliance Failure
  • Security Issues
  • Heightened Maintenance
  • Increased Programming Effort


Recent research contradicts the old model that a defect can be traced to a single source. Of the faults that led to failures, 6% required changes to two or more files, while 30% involved three or more files. Approximately one third of the faults involved multiple system components, while 10-20% crossed major segments of the architecture.

These results argue strongly for distinguishing between localized problems in the code and problems that involve multiple segments or tiers of the application. The internal or engineering quality of business application software can be divided into two broad areas.

  • Code Quality: The attributes of one or several software components sharing a common language and technology that ensure their operation meets the requirements allocated to them, while being engineered to help the application avoid damaging consequences.
  • Application Quality: The collective attributes of all software components included in an IT application – regardless of language or technology – that ensure its operation meets the stated requirements and business objectives of its users, owners, and customers while avoiding damaging consequences.

Distinguishing between code and application quality is critical because application and code quality are typically analyzed at different times using different defect detection methods and technologies.

A True Measure of Code Quality for Refining Development Practices

The CAST Application Intelligence Platform (AIP) is the only enterprise-grade software quality assessment and performance measurement solution available in the market today. The CAST solution inspects source code, identifies and tracks quality issues, and provides the data to monitor development performance. CAST can read, analyze, and semantically understand most kinds of source code, including scripting and interface languages, 3GLs, 4GLs, and web and mainframe technologies, across all layers of an application (UI, logic, and data). By analyzing all tiers of a complex application, CAST measures quality and adherence to architectural and coding standards, while providing visual specification models.

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