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A Practical Model for Measuring Maintainability

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3 Author(s)
Ilja Heitlager ; Software Improvement Group, The Netherlands ; Tobias Kuipers ; Joost Visser

The amount of effort needed to maintain a software system is related to the technical quality of the source code of that system. The ISO 9126 model for software product quality recognizes maintainability as one of the 6 main characteristics of software product quality, with adaptability, changeability, stability, and testability as subcharacteristics of maintainability. Remarkably, ISO 9126 does not provide a consensual set of measures for estimating maintainability on the basis of a system's source code. On the other hand, the maintainability index has been proposed to calculate a single number that expresses the maintainability of a system. In this paper, we discuss several problems with the MI, and we identify a number of requirements to be fulfilled by a maintainability model to be usable in practice. We sketch a new maintainability model that alleviates most of these problems, and we discuss our experiences with using such as system for IT management consultancy activities.

Published in:

Quality of Information and Communications Technology, 2007. QUATIC 2007. 6th International Conference on the

Date of Conference:

12-14 Sept. 2007