Quality attributes may include several dozen of product characteristics, although it would be enough for most of the projects to have just a few of them. If the developers know what characteristics are crucial for the success of the project, they can choose the appropriate techniques while working on the architecture, design and source code of the software, which will allow them to achieve a certain quality. As usual, most QA organizations including software testing companies in USA use various schemes to classify the quality attributes. One of such classification method is based on the separation of characteristics that manifest themselves during their execution, and those that do not manifest themselves. Another method involves separating obvious characteristics, mainly those which are important for users, from the hidden qualities that matter to a technical support group. The latter indirectly affect the customer’s feedback as simplifying possible product changes: its correction, verification, and transfer to other platforms.
Table. 1 lists several quality attributes in both categories, which should be taken into account in any project. Some are very important for embedded systems (efficiency and reliability), while others are particularly important for Internet-based applications and mainframe applications (availability, integrity, and ease of use) or desktop systems (interoperability and usability). For embedded systems, it is common to consider other important quality attributes such as security and simplicity and ease of installation and maintenance. Also, scalability is another quality attribute that is important for Internet applications.
Table 1. Software quality attributes
|Important primarily for users||Important mainly for developers|
|Ease of use|
|Interoperability||Portability and transferability|
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In an ideal world, each system would have the maximum possible values for all the above-mentioned attributes. It would be constantly accessible and intuitive, never experience any failures, instantly provide the results and, of course, be always correct. You are advised, based on the data from the table 1, to find out, which of the attributes are most important for the success of your project. Then divide them into those that are important for users, and those that are important for developers, so that designers can be able to take appropriate decisions. Security testing services focus on detecting and eliminating weaknesses existing in operating systems, networks, etc.