Software Quality Assurance (SQA) is a process that ensures the quality of software while developing software. It also ensures that all processes, procedures, and activities are monitored and properly implemented.
It works along with the development process to ensure that the desired quality measures are met, and thus, it helps to improve the development process and resolve problems at the early stage before they cause a significant issue. In SQA, the software is tested at each phase of the development process so that the software development process can move to the next phase after the current phase fulfills the required quality measures.
SQA process offers the following functionalities:-
- SQA provides the quality management approach
- SQA helps in identifying the problems in the processes
- It offers a multi testing strategy to achieve good quality software
- Effective applications of software engineering technology should be used in SDLC
- Measurement and reporting mechanism
Software Quality Assurance Activities
SQA activities help to assure software quality. The activities are analyzed and performed step by step. These activities are:-
Quality Management Plan – A quality management plan is designed during project planning. It consists of good technical processes. The project team performs management activities, which include pointing errors, evaluation, and reviews to be performed. After these activities, documents are produced by the SQA team, and feedback is given to the development team.
Software engineering techniques – Software engineering technique helps the software designers to obtain high-quality specification. The designer collects the information by using some methods such as the Facilitated Application Specification Technique (FAST). The collected information is used for making the project estimation by using techniques such as Work Break Down (WBS), Source Line of Code (SLOC) estimation, etc.
Technical Reviews – A formal technical review (FTR) is conducted to determine the quality and design of the quality management plan. Technical reviews are performed with the technical staff to find the errors in the early stage.
Testing Strategy – The multiple levels of testing are designed and conducted. Software testing is an important function of SQA activity, which helps in error detection. The testing strategies are designed based on company policy.
The change control process – This task combines the human process and automated tools to provide a mechanism for change control. The change control is the mechanism which ensures the quality of the software by formalizing the request for change, evaluates the nature of change and control the effect of change. This mechanism is implemented during the development and maintenance phase.
Software Quality Assurance Audits – SQA audits inspect the software development process by comparing it to the existing processes. SQA Auditor reviews and checks the activities. The quality of the project handling can be analyzed only through the outcome of the review, which is submitted by the SQA Auditor.
Generate Reports – Suitable records are generated for all activities for future references. These activities evaluate the quality of a project and also test the way project management processes are handled. This will help in reviewing the performance of the test engineer, who is in charge of the test management phase.
Advantages of Software Quality Assurance
- Software Quality Assurance helps to produce high-quality software.
- High-quality software requires low maintenance.
- SQA helps in improving the process of developing software
- High-quality commercial software increases the market value of the organization.
Disadvantages of Software Quality Assurance
The disadvantages of SQA are utilizing more resources, hiring more workers for maintaining the quality of the software, both may affect the estimated cost.