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         +=======    Quality Techniques Newsletter    =======+
         +=======            February 2005            =======+

subscribers worldwide to support the Software Research, Inc. (SR),
eValid, and TestWorks user communities and to other interested
parties to provide information of general use to the worldwide
internet and software quality and testing community.

Permission to copy and/or re-distribute is granted, and secondary
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                       Contents of This Issue

   o  Real vs. Synthetic Web Performance Measurements: A Comparative
      Study, by John Bartlett & Peter Sevcik

   o  SQRL Reports Available

   o  International Journal of Information Technology and Web

   o  DETester Portal Website

   o  eValid: Latest News and Updates

   o  ROI Dashboard Offered

   o  Mini-Survey on Test Training, by Franco Martinig

   o  QTN Article Submittal, Subscription Information


Real vs. Synthetic Web Performance Measurements, A Comparative Study
                    John Bartlett & Peter Sevcik

      Summary:  This new study finds that synthetic Web
      performance tests give organizations a false sense of
      user experience.  Specifically, synthetic measurements
      frequently understate actual response time seen by real
      users by as much as 50% and overstate the response time
      of other applications by as much as 350%.

                         Executive Summary

With respect to accuracy, our analysis shows that synthetic
measurements randomly and frequently understate the actual response
time seen by real users by as much as 50% and overstate the response
time of other applications by as much as 350%.  These error margins
are much too broad to serve as the basis for infrastructure
management or SLA enforcement.  When comparing the results of real
versus synthetic measurements over time, we also found poor
correlation of response time trends.  Establishing accurate
baselines is an essential first step in proactive detection of
service level degradation or traffic anomalies.

With respect to coverage, our analysis shows that synthetic agents
usually interact with less than 10% of total website URLs and less
than 15% of the ISPs connecting real users to the site. It is
dangerous to extrapolate the performance characteristics of an
entire application environment and its user communities from this
small sample.  In one site analyzed, we found that 190 synthetic
agents were used to represent 1.7 million total website visitors.

The principle risk of using synthetic measurement for service level
management is that service problems can impact an unknown quantity
of users in unknown locations with an immediate and negative impact
on the business.  This can leave the IT organization without the
data they need to detect and analyze service problems so they can
take the necessary corrective actions to restore service.

                        Permission Statement

You may excerpt small parts of this report as long as you add the
following citation:  Source: NetForecast Report 5077:


                         SQRL Report No. 26

         Inspection of Software with Incomplete Description

                       By:  Michael Sharygin

Abstract:  Software quality problem has become increasingly visible,
as software has emerged as the dominant factor in determining system
costs. Software inspection, or static analysis of software
artifacts, is commonly recognized as an efficient way of finding
defects. Unfortunately, in software inspection we often face the
problem of non-existent, unsatisfactory or inconsistent software

This thesis investigates existing inspection methods and derives a
generic inspection process for assuring quality, evaluating and
specifying post-release software product with incomplete undergoing
description. The inspection strategy refers to a set of scenarios
and to the associated comparison scheme to be used for diagnosing
software defects.

To be rigorous and systematic, the process of inspecting software
with incomplete description needs an evolvable base of software
artifacts analysis in order to avoid desperate understanding of the
software system under study. To realize this, a generic process
within the framework suggested employs a lifecycle-centric approach
to software inspection. To facilitate the process, we propose a
stepwise abstraction system recovery while engineering the system in

We will also introduce an experiment investigating the development
of a rigorous approach for effective software inspection.

                         SQRL Report No. 25

Use of Tabular Expressions in the Inspection of Concurrent Programs

                         By:  Xiao-Hui Jin

Abstract:  This thesis presents a systematic, rigorous inspection
approach for concurrent programs. The approach has been successfully
applied to a classic concurrent program of the Readers/Writers

In the inspection process, we rewrite the concurrent program by
assigning each primitive statement a label; the transfer of control
from statement to statement is made explicit. Auxiliary variables
are used to record extra information for inspection without
affecting the original intent of the program. The resulting program
is a non-deterministic sequential program with the same behavioral
effect as the original concurrent program. The rewritten program is
then examined through checking the truth-value of the system
invariant that fully captures program structure. A decreasing
quantity of the program states is also used to show the clean
completion of the program.

We use tabular expressions, program-function tables, to describe the
function of the program. Each column in the table is inspected
individually; the program is divided into small components to be
conquered with ease. The correctness of the whole program is implied
(evaluated) by the correctness of the columns examined through the


                      International Journal of
             Information Technology and Web Engineering

                   Inaugural Issue: January 2006
                 Submission Deadline April 10, 2005

                   Editor-in-Chief: David C. Rine
                   Professor of Computer Science
                      George Mason University

               Co-Editor-in-Chief: Ghazi I. Alkhatib
                       Senior Lecturer of MIS
                    Qatar College of Technology

An official publication of the Information Resources Management
Association Published: Quarterly (Print ISSN: 1554-1045 and
Electronic E-ISSN:  1554-1053)

Organizations are continuously overwhelmed by a variety of new
information technologies, many are Web based.  These new
technologies are capitalizing on the widespread use of network and
communication technologies for seamless integration of various
issues in information and knowledge sharing within and among
organizations.  This emphasis on integrated approaches is unique to
this journal and dictates cross platform and multidisciplinary
strategy to research and practice.

The Mission of the Journal The main objective of the journal is to
publish refereed papers in the area covering Information Technology
(IT) concepts, tools, methodologies, and ethnography, in the
contexts of global communication systems and Web engineered
applications.  In accordance with this emphasis on the Web and
communication systems, the journal publishes papers on IT research
and practice that support seamless end-to-end information and
knowledge flow among individuals, teams, and organizations.

This end-to-end strategy for research and practice requires emphasis
on integrated research among the various steps involved in
data/knowledge (structured and unstructured) capture (manual or
automated), classification and clustering, storage, analysis,
synthesis, dissemination, display, consumption, and feedback.  The
secondary objective is to assist in the evolving and maturing of
IT-dependent organizations, as well as individuals, in information
and knowledge based culture and commerce, including e-commerce.

Coverage Topics to be included are the following.  Please refer to
the web site for more detailed list of topics.

  * Web systems architectures, including distributed, grid computer,
    and communication systems processing
  * Web systems design and performance engineering studies
  * Web user interfaces design, development, and usability
    engineering studies
  * RFID research and applications in web engineered systems
  * Mobile, location-aware, and ubiquitous computing
  * Ontology and semantic Web studies
  * Software agent-based for web-engineered applications
  * Integrated user profile, provisioning, and context-based
  * Security, integrity, privacy and policy issues
  * Case studies validating Web-based IT solutions
  * Data and knowledge capture, quality, validation, and
    verification issues
  * IT readiness and technology transfer studies
  * IT Education and Training
  * Virtual teams and virtual enterprises: communication, policies,
    operation, creativity, and innovation

In addition to complete research articles, the journal will publish
book reviews and research notes on current innovative, substantial
and novel concepts and research areas to foster collaboration
research and encourage further exploration and exploitation by
academicians and practitioners.  Both research and instructional
case studies of success stories of IT-augmented systems development
will be solicited form practitioner of business and government

Publisher The International Journal of Information Technology and
Web Engineering will be published by Idea Group Inc. , publisher of "Idea Group Publishing", "Information
Science Publishing", "IRM Press", "Cybertech Publishing", and "Idea
Group Reference" imprints.  The inaugural issue of this journal is
due for publication in January 2006.


                      DCTester Portal Website
                            Jeff Rashka


The DCTester Portal website has been updated to reflect events in
the area for 2005.  Check out the seminars, tutorials and
conferences.  Also note that new jobs are posted on the website each

Of special note, visit the site to learn about the free seminar on
23 February that addresses practices for testing across the entire
development life cycle for effectively validating application
functionality and performance. The approach applies a business
context to the test management effort, where critical success and
high-risk functions are prioritized.

Also, obtain a free white paper, associated with the approach
addressed in the seminar, to learn how you can implement a risk-
based test approach that will enable you to build higher quality
applications while meeting deadlines. Visit the site below today to
read "Implementing a Risk-based Approach to Ensuring Quality".
Discover the benefits of risk-based testing and what you can do to
accurately identify and prioritize testing, while controlling costs
and resources.

      Free white paper:


                   eValid: Latest News & Updates

eValid is the premier WebSite Quality Testing & Analysis Suite.
eValid solutions help organizations maintain e-Business presence,
improve WebSite quality and performance, reduce down time, prevent
customer loss, and control costs.

eValid's Web Analysis and Testing Suite is comprehensive, yet
scalable and easy to use, and applies to a wide range of web
applications.  Built entirely inside an IE-compatible full-featured
browser, 100% realistic user experience results are guaranteed.

              New Variable/Value Manipulation Commands
The latest revisions of eValid V5 include new features for:

* A new capability to provide a context to a script at playback
  time, via a new "EnvironmentVariableFile" command.  For details on
  how this command operates, see:

* A new selectable option for site analysis, including a Browse...
  file selection option, to permit you to choose where to store you
  site analysis filter reports.

  Assuming you have enough machine capacity you now can run launch
  multiple simultaneous eValid site analysis scans.

* Expansion of the currently available set of Reserved Variables
  that allow you to instantiate important fixed local values into an
  eValid test script at playback time.  See this description for
  details of how this works:

                         CeBit Show Details
eValid will be represented at the upcoming CeBit show in Hannover,
Germany, 10-16 March 2005.  If you are planning on being at CeBit
please visit:

                  Business Consulting Saxony (BCS)

You'll find BCS people at CeBit Hall 4, Booth F-064.

German-speaking readers are invited to review the German Language
Brochure (PDF):

And, don't forget to check the German language White Paper,
"Qualitat von WebPrasenzen -- Eine Herausforderung."

You can read this entire paper in PDF format at:

            New Log Filtering Option Support Monitoring
The latest builds of the eValid website test engine include two
capabilities that will be of interest to users who are using eValid
in monitoring mode.  There are two changes now available:

* Selectable options via a new Message Log Filter that will let you
  select which messages are put in the Message Log.  For details

* A capability to create a Custom Log as a subset of the Event Log,
  based on a set of string matches that are user specified.  For
  details see:

                        HTTP Error Reporting
A new capability for monitoring HTTP errors has been added to the
eValid playback engine.  Users can select to have HTTP errors
reported as WARNINGs or ERRORs.  In addition, detailed timing logs
generated by eValid now include the specific byte size and download
time of each page component separately.  For complete details see:

                     New Data Import Capability
A new eValid capability now simplifies importing data from
CallScript, GoScript, and _eValid commands, and with the -DATA
command line switch.

The new Value Extraction< feature gives eValid users a simple way to
import complex settings for use in processing complex parametric

For complete usage information please see:

                New 3D-SiteMap Capabilities, Options
The 3D-SiteMap portrays page-to-page dependency information that the
eValid site analysis process obtains by systematically scanning a
WebSite and then analyzing the dependencies between all of the pages
it viewed.

A new release of the eValid 3D-SiteMap display engine is now
available.  The new additions to the 3D-SiteMap engine include:

o A capability to limit the displayed dependencies to an adjustable
  depth for children and/or parents of a chosen root node.

o An option to show only the "immediate family" of a chosen root
  (base) URL.  This lets you see only the key parts of any 3D-

You can see a complete working example along with the updated 3D-
SiteMap Summary Documentation at this page:

         Enhanced Adaptive Playback for ButtonClick Command
Changes in the adaptive playback support have been made for eValid's
ButtonClick command.  The new implementation provides for increased
flexibility in how eValid adapts to a changed button name or changed
button location.  With this change fewer tests will fail for
inconsequential changes in the underlying website.  The improved
method is available to regular eValid users as part of their regular
maintenance subscription.

           Command Line Switches and Error Codes Expanded
To support expanded use of eValid in monitoring applications and
other unattended operational roles, we have added a number of new
exit codes.  The complete Playback Error Codes documentation gives
all of the details.  See this page for details:

Of special note is the addition of error/exit codes for the new
eV.Manager batch-mode to automatically repeat application of an test
suite a fixed number of times in immediate succession.

See the eV.Manager Command Line Switches description at:

                 Product Download Location, Details
Here is the URL for downloading eValid if you want to start [or re-
start] your evaluation:

                   Contact Us With Your Questions
We welcome your questions about eValid and its applications.  We
promise a response to every question in ONE BUSINESS DAY if you use
the WebSite request form:


                       ROI Dashboard Offered

Finding accurate and reliable benefit data from software technical
and management improvements can be a hit or miss proposition.

The Data & Analysis Center for Software (DACS) and its newly
launched web-based ROI Dashboard at:

DACS is offering a new solution where the software community can
find benefit data from software technical and management

The ROI Dashboard augments and updates the DACS Report "A Business
Case for Software Process Improvement"

with the latest published data on benefits. The ROI Dashboard
graphically displays open and publicly available data and provides
standard statistical analysis of the data.

The data used in the ROI Dashboard was collected from open

    * Articles in Communications of the ACM, CrossTalk, the IBM
      Systems Journal, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering,
      Computer, Software, the Journal of Systems and Software,
      Software Practice and Experience, and Software Process
      Improvement and Practice.

    * Papers presented at conferences, such as conferences sponsored
      by the Software Engineering Institute and Software Engineering
      Process Group (SEPG) conferences.

    * Data taken from technical reports.

    * Data collected by the DACS through surveys

The DACS ROI Dashboard) provides the user with capabilities to
examine the empirical distribution of the impact of software
technology improvements on the following variables:


The processes/methodologies covered include:

    -SEI Team Software Process (TSP)
    -SEI Personal Software Process (PSP)


                    Mini-Survey on Test Training
                          Franco Martinig
                       Martinig & Associates
             Editor of the Methods and Tools Newsletter

Our last poll question was: How many weeks of training on software
testing have you completed in your professional life?

                ---------------------------  -----
                None                           43%
                Less than one week             19%
                One week (5 days)               7%
                One to two weeks                7%
                Two weeks to one month          6%
                More than one month            18%
                ---------------------------  -----
                Number of participants:        240
                ---------------------------  -----

As you can see, a large majority of the participants received none
or few testing related training from their employers. I think that
this situation is typical of the importance given to the testing
phase in many software development projects. The time is often
limited and there are few processes, tools and infrastructure
available to optimise the efforts of the developers. The lack of
training is just another factor that limits the efficiency of
testing efforts.

At the other end of the spectrum, you see an important percentage
with more than one month of training. This result should be
connected with the activity of M&T readers. Around 20% of them are
working in the software quality area and people working in this area
should have more testing related training than the average


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