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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What is software quality assurance and why it is important?

Software quality assurance or SQA as it commonly abbreviated to, can be defined as a standard means of the processes of software engineering and other methods that are used to ensure the quality of the software system or application products.

The methods used for software quality assurance are several in numbers and also they are varied. These methods may include the ensuring of the conformance to more than one model such as CMMI or standards such as ISO 9000.

Software quality assurance encompasses the whole process of the software development.The software development process includes many processes such as:

- Definition of requirements
- Designing of software
- Coding of software
- Control of source code
- Review of code
- Changing the management
- Configuration management
- Testing of the software system or application product and
- Integration of the software product.

Software quality assurance like any other process is complete with certain goals and objectives.
The goals of the software quality assurance process are well organized and have been listed below:
- Commitments
- Abilities
- Activities
- Measurements and
- Verification

The standard definition of software quality assurance can be stated as follows:

“Software quality assurance is that function of software quality that assures that the processes, procedures and standards are right or appropriate for the concerned project and are well implemented.”

This definition of the software quality assurance has been given by NASA. But, the problem with this definition is that this definition confuses with other similar definitions. The problems have been stated below:

- The definition tells us a little about what software quality assurance actually is. I mean to say that is used already defined terms “software” and “assure”.

- The definition doesn’t provide a scope for something or someone who can be said responsible for software quality assurance.

- The definition doesn’t even address the relationship and role of software quality assurance with the software testing.

- In the pure form of the definition in which a distinguishing “audit” style group has been established is difficult to be applied to a small environment regarding development.

As we all know well software testing is oriented towards the detection of the vulnerabilities of the software. It makes the quality of the software.

- Quality software is delivered on time and it’s within the budget, it’s free of bugs and errors.
- Quality software reasonably meets the specifications and requirements and it is quite maintainable.

Now coming to the quality assurance of the software, it makes sure that the software product is completed or developed based on the previously mentioned specifications and requirements by the client or the customers.

- It also ensures that the software has been developed according to the stated functionality and the standards and also without any defects and possible errors.

- The quality assurance factor monitors and tries to improve or raise the standards of the development process from the beginning of the software product development.

- It is basically known to be oriented towards the prevention of problems.

- Quality assurance is one such factor that is involved in the software development process right from the beginning.

- This helps a great deal to the development team to figure out the problems and accordingly set up the testing environment and configuration.

- Usually the actual testing starts when the test plan has been framed, reviewed and approved based on the specifications of the software design stated in the documentation.

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