Quality Assessment of Standard and Customized COTS Products

Quality Assessment of Standard and Customized COTS Products

Sudhaman Parthasarathy (Thiagarajar College of Engineering, India), C. Sridharan (Thiagarajar College of Engineering, India), Thangavel Chandrakumar (Thiagarajar College of Engineering, India) and S. Sridevi (Thiagarajar College of Engineering, India)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/IJITPM.2020070101
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Abstract

Software quality is a very important aspect in evolving strategy for IT vendors involved in commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) (also referred as packaged software) product development. Software metrics are widely accepted measures for monitoring and managing the quality in software projects. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are COTS products and attempt to integrate data and processes in organizations and often require extensive customization. Using software quality metrics already established in literature, software quality attributes defined by the quality model ISO/IEC 9126 were evaluated for a standard and a customized ERP product. This will help the ERP team to identify the specific quality attributes that were affected owing to customization. This research study infers that there exists a considerable impact of ERP system customization over the quality of ERP product. The implications of the findings for both practice and research are discussed, and possible areas of future research are identified.
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1. Introduction

Software quality is a very important aspect in evolving strategy for Information Technology (IT) vendors involved in Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) (also referred as packaged software) products development. Software metrics are widely accepted measures for monitoring, and managing the quality in software projects. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are such COTS products and attempt to integrate data and processes in organizations and often require extensive customization. Ensuring quality in an ERP system implementation is a major collective effort by the implementation partner, hosting provider, software vendor, and business and technical teams. Software quality metrics from the literature has been applied to a module of customized ERP in this study. The quality metrics of Sudhaman (2011) has been adopted to measure the quality attributes and the respective sub-attributes of ISO/IEC 9126 quality model. The following research questions guided the investigation:

  • 1.

    What types of customizations are carried out to COTS software product?

  • 2.

    How is the software metrics used in software projects?

  • 3.

    What are the quality models widely in use by the IT industry?

  • 4.

    How is the quality of standard and customized COTS products?

As the development process specifies the major development and quality control activities that need to be performed in the project, it forms the core of the software process (Jalote, 2008) (Chanaka et al., 2014; Chevers et al., 2016; Ingaldi and lewicz, 2018).

As per ISO 9126 standard, quality is defined as the totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bears on its ability to satisfy given needs (Agarwal & Chari, 2007). In a previous study by Yang (2001), it is observed that the quality of the software product could very well be estimated through its quality attributes namely reliability, maintainability, functionality, usability, efficiency and portabililty. In IT projects, software quality has also been defined (Boegh, 2008) in terms of two types of product characteristics: (i) external quality and (ii) internal quality. External quality deals with how the software product actually works in the deployed environment, whereas internal quality deals with how the software product was actually developed. This refers to the software processes involved during the software development.

In most of the previous studies, external software quality attributes are being highlighted as they have been already validated through a study carried out in the recent past (Jung, 2007; Kannabiran et al., 2011; Sudhaman, 2011). In this study, we analyze the external quality characteristics of the standard ERP and customized ERP products by using the software metrics developed in a previous study by the first author (Sudhaman, 2011) for the software quality attributes defined as per ISO 9126 standard.

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