The Basics of Software Quality Attributes: Software Quality Attributes are features that facilitate the measurement of performance of a software product by Software Testing professionals and include attributes such as availability, interoperability, correctness, reliability, learnability, robustness, maintainability, readability, extensibility, testability, efficiency, and portability. High scores in Software Quality Attributes enable software architects to guarantee that a software application will perform as the specifications provided by the client.
This attribute is indicative as to whether an application will execute the tasks it is assigned to perform. Availability also includes certain concepts that relate to software security, performance, integrity, reliability, dependability, and confidentiality. In addition, top-notch availability indicates that a software-driven system will repair any operating faults so that service outage periods would not exceed a specific time value.
Software-driven systems could be required to communicate and act in tandem to solve certain tasks. Interoperability describes the ability of two systems to engage in the exchange of information via certain interfaces. Therefore, Software Quality Assurance engineers must examine the interoperability attribute in terms of both syntactic and semantic interoperability.
This attribute pertains to the ability of a software-driven system to conform to timing requirements. From a testing point of view, it implies that Software Testing engineers must check whether the system responds to various events within defined time limits. These events may occur in the form of clock events, process interruptions, messages, and requests from different users, and others.
Software testability indicates how well a software-driven system allows Software Testing professionals to conduct tests in line with predefined criteria. This attribute also assesses the ease with which Software Quality Assurance engineers can develop test criteria for a said system and its various components. Engineers can assess the testability of a system by using various techniques such as encapsulation, interfaces, patterns, low coupling, and more.
This attribute measures the ability of a system to arrest and block malicious or unauthorized actions that could potentially destroy the system. The attribute assumes importance because security denotes the ability of the system to protect data and defend information from unauthorized access. Security also includes authorization and authentication techniques, protection against network attacks, data encryption, and such other risks. It is imperative for Software Testing professionals to regularly conduct updated security checks on systems.
Every software-driven system is designed for ease of use to accomplish certain tasks. The attribute of usability denotes the ease with which users are able to execute tasks on the system; it also indicates the kind of user support provided by the system. The most well-known principle for this property is KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). In addition, Software Quality Assurance engineers must test software to check whether it supports different accessibility types of control for people with disabilities. Usability has a critical and long standing bearing on the commercial fortunes of a software application or package.
This attribute determines the conformity of a software-driven system with actual requirements and specifications. Most Software Testing professionals view this attribute as crucial and a foremost requirement of a modern application, and would therefore advocate the performance of tests that assess the desired functionality of a system in the initial stages of Software Testing initiatives.