The ISO for software quality assurance is something that we associate with the International Standards Organization (ISO). They spend countless hours developing internationally recognized ISO standards that organizations can use to demonstrate their compliance with industry best practices. Software assurance is a standard that has been around in some form for over twenty years at this point. The ISO determined that an international standard needs to exist to assure quality in software production. This article will look at the progression of the criteria stipulated by the ISO for software quality assurance and how the latest iterations may impact you.

ISO 9001-3: 1997

We’ve already covered the ISO 9001 requirements for certification in the past. Most readers are already aware that ISO 9001 deals with establishing a quality management system (QMS). Previous iterations of ISO 9001 aimed to help businesses have an overall standard to measure all of their business processes. ISO 9001-3 was developed as an offshoot of the ISO 9001 standard intended to be applied to software quality assurance. Other, more modern standards have since superseded the ISO 9001-3. The ISO mentions that the 9001-3 certification was withdrawn.

ISO/IEC 9126 

Software engineers and manufacturers recognize ISO/IEC 9126 as one of the most robust software quality standards globally. It was developed to provide manufacturers and engineers with required software product quality for development and evaluation. It divides up the different approaches to quality into six significant characteristics: 

  • Portability: How easy is it to transfer this software between multiple environments?
  • Maintainability: How easy is it to change and adapt this software in the future?
  • Efficiency: How much resources does this software consume compared to the benefit it provides to the user?
  • Usability: How much effort does the user need to expend to learn to use the product?
  • Reliability: How long is the software able to be used dependably?
  • Functionality: How wide-ranging is the function set that the user has access to?

ISO/IEC 9126 is closely related to ISO 9001. In many cases, businesses would seek certification for ISO 9001 with a specific interest in applying the ISO/IEC 9126 standards to their software products.

ISO/IEC 25010:2011

One of the more modern standards is the ISO/IEC 25010:2011. This standard is applied to software engineering and manufacture to ensure that the product is of a standardized quality. ISO/IEC 25010:2011 comprises eight significant characteristics. It takes the same six as ISO/IEC 9126 but adds two other elements:

  • Security: How well does the product protect data assets and information?
  • Compatibility: How well does the software operate when in an environment where it has to share system resources with other software?

As a result, the ISO/IEC 25010:2011 is considered a more robust standard than the ISO/ISC 9126. 

Current Standards from the ISO for Software Quality Assurance

Presently, the ISO notes that they are reviewing the ISO/IEC 25010:2011 and intend to replace this standard with three standards that are derived from it. Software quality assurance relies on these standards for user-facing interaction. However, businesses in the industry should also be looking at having a QMS established alongside their ISO for software quality assurance standards. Not only will it help the company by allowing it to gain ISO 9001 certification, but it will also help maintain the standard that they choose for their software quality model.

Constant iterative processes form the core of the ISO for software quality assurance standard. These software quality assurance standards are designed to help businesses deliver a product to consumers of the highest quality. Need to learn more about software quality assurance standards or how to gain ISO 9001 certification? Send Sync Resource a message today!

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founder of sync resource

About Author

Sunita Verma, Founder and President of Sync Resource started the company in 2009 with a vision to provide management consulting to small & medium size businesses around the country.
Sunita holds a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio, Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering(India) with prestigious gold medal by then President of India and renowned Scientist Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
As an active philanthropist she believes in pay it forward and is a contributing member of charitable organizations like St. Jude’s Foundation and North Fulton Charities.


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