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The new COSMIC FFP method of sizing the functional requirements of software has been approved as an International Standard (ISO/IEC 19761:2003).
For software developers, the ability to measure a size of software from its functional requirements or specifications early in the life of a project is a first key step for estimating development effort. Further, as the size measure is independent of the technology used, it provides a key component for software project performance measures such as productivity, defined as size / effort.
To meet these challenges, COSMIC FFP was designed from the outset to measure the functional size of real-time, multi-layered software such as used in telecoms, process control, and operating systems, as well as business application software, all on the same measurement scale. Such wide applicability is unique and a breakthrough for the world of software project performance measurement and estimating.
The COSMIC FFP method has progressed from the germ of an idea to approval as an International Standard in the extremely short time of four years. The method is the first success of COSMIC, the COmmon Software Measurement Consortium, a team of software measurement experts from Europe, North America and Asia/Pacific. The method has been extensively tested and is now becoming increasingly used, especially in the real-time world. Having been developed in the last few years, the method is compatible with modern specification methods such as UML and with OO techniques.
What types of software sizing has COSMIC FFP been used for?
The COSMIC FFP method has been used to size a remarkable variety of software, for different purposes, mostly in connection with performance measurement and estimating. Examples include:
- Business application software in banking, insurance, utilities etc
- Infrastructure software supporting business applications, ie web-services, messaging and n-tier architectures
- Avionics software of a major fighter aircraft system and other defence systems
- Telecoms switching systems, mobile phone GIFPA messaging
- Comparing the functionality of mobile phone handsets
- Engine control and fuel injection systems
- Paper copier systems
- Size measurement of basic re-usable Objects
- Text parsing software
- Safety-critical software for a US Regulatory Commission.