Software Size Measurement: The Key to More Predictable Application Development

Do you know how big your critical systems are?

Do you know if your ADM team is capable of managing systems of that size?

Do you impact large complex systems have on time to market and agility?


Application development effectiveness is greatly impacted by the size and complexity of existing systems - as well as new development projects. Software size measurements, much like determining the weight of a physical object, provide a benchmark into the maintenance load your teams and vendors are being asked to support. Larger systems present challenges to maintenance and enhancement teams.

Automated software size measurement tools provide accurate, objective measures of large systems to help organizations understand the size of the critical systems, as well as the size of IT portfolios.  This provides baseline insight into quality improvement programs as well as performance measurement initiatives as teams working on large systems can be expected to perform below industry standard rates in both enhancement and maintenance efforts. A reliable software size measurement helps organizations implement efforts for better managing programming practices.

Software Size Measurement Methods: Function Points

Software size measurement methods capable of evaluating the application at the source code level deliver numerous improvement opportunities. The function point method breaks source code into functional units to supply a benchmarking calculation for monitoring of application scope and complexity. This software size measurement method eliminates time consuming code review sessions where each line must be read to detect flaws or determine quality. Function point scores are derived from five specific factors:

  • Inputs
  • Outputs
  • Logic Files
  • Inquiries
  • Interfaces

It is calculated by determining the total of each of the above listed factors and then applying complexity measures to generate an adjusted function point count. The adjusted value is used to provide a sizing estimate based on the total number of functions the application or enhancement is meant to accomplish. This benchmarking value can used to consistently assess and manage development processes based on the scope or complexity of an application.

Automated Solutions for Intricate IT Infrastructures

Software size measurements can be performed manually; however, these estimates take a long time to complete, are not cost effective, and often have inaccurate results. Automated solutions offer a higher degree of accuracy, take less time, and deliver benchmarking capabilities to an organization. One of the largest problems companies face when desiring to use this particular software size measurement is an inability to assess multiple languages within complex IT environments utilizing several technologies.

How does your development team currently evaluate software and detect vulnerabilities? CAST Application Intelligence Platform or AIP uses function points as a software size measurement to evaluate applications in the most multifaceted IT environment. AIP is a benchmarking solution for managing productivity, quality, size, complexity, and costs during development across complex infrastructures. It provides accurate, objective calculations to ensure the best results are received at any point in the development life cycle.

Check out this video from David Consulting Group about Function Points and Function Point Software.

CAST offers an automated function point analysis solution to help your organization effectively manage application quality, risk, and complexity.

Click here to see how Function Point Software makes it easier to manage the not-so-obvious critical factors of your infrastructure.

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