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Software Process

The software process is the way in which we produce software. There are five generic framework activities that can be used during the development of programs.

This activity combines code generation(either manual or automated) and the testing that is required to uncover errors in the code.

The software as a complete entity or as a partially completed is delivered to the customer who evaluates the delivered product and provides feedback based on the evaluation.
The process of developing/producing a software differs from organization to organization. Surviving in the increasingly competitive software business requires deployment of smart, knowledgeable engineers and latest development tools. We also need to use effective software development processes, so that engineers can systematically use the best technical and managerial practices to successfully complete their projects. Many software organizations are looking at software process improvement as a way to improve the quality, productivity, predictability of their software development and maintenance efforts.

The framework activity involves heavy communication and collaboration with the customer and encompasses requirement gathering and other related activities.

This activity establishes a plan for the software engineering work that follows. It describes the technical task to be conducted, the risks that are likely, the resources that will be required, the work products to be produced and a work schedule.

This activity encompasses the creation of models that allow the developer and the customer to better understand software requirements and the design that will achieve those requirements.

Software Process and its Characteristics
The software process is the set of activities and associated results that produce a software product. Following are the fundamental process activities that are common to all software processes:

•    Software Specifications: The functionality of the software and constraints on its operations must be defined.

•    Software Development: The software must be developed that meet the specifications.

•    Software Validation: The software must be validated to ensure that it performs what the customer needs.

•    Software Evaluation: The software must evolve to meet the changing customers requirements.

Following are the software process characteristics:

•    Understandability: To what extent is the process explicitly defined and how easy is to understand the process definition?

•    Visibility: Do the process activates give clear results so that the progress of the process is extremely visible?

•    Robustness: Can the process continue in spite of unexpected problems?

•    Reliability: Is the process designed in such a way that process errors are avoided or trapped before they result in product errors?

•    Acceptability: Is the defined process acceptable to and usable by the engineers responsible for producing the software product?

•    Maintainability: Can the process evolve to reflect changing organizational requirements or identified process improvements?

•    Rapidity: How fast can be the process of delivering a system from a given specification be completed?

•    Supportability: To what extent can CASE tools support the process activities?

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