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         +=======    Quality Techniques Newsletter    =======+
         +=======             October 2000            =======+

QUALITY TECHNIQUES NEWSLETTER (QTN) (Previously Testing Techniques
Newsletter) is E-mailed monthly to subscribers worldwide to support the
Software Research, Inc. (SR), TestWorks, QualityLabs, and eValid WebTest
Services user community and to provide information of general use to the
worldwide software and internet quality and testing community.

Permission to copy and/or re-distribute is granted, and secondary
circulation is encouraged by recipients of QTN provided that the entire
document/file is kept intact and this complete copyright notice appears
with it in all copies.  (c) Copyright 2003 by Software Research, Inc.


   o  4th Annual International Software & Internet Quality Week Europe:
      Conference Theme: Initiatives For The Future.

   o  Stress Relief (Part 1 of 2) by Richard Ellison

   o  ISEB Qualification for Software Testers

   o  SERG REPORT: Data Network Language Design, Xiaoning Yan

   o  Testing of Object-Oriented Software: Life Cycle, by Imran Bashir
      and Amrit L. Goel

   o  Managing Requirements: From Battleship to Heat-Seeking Missile
      (Part 1/2) by David L. Moore

   o  Latest Features in eValid 2.1 October Build

   o  Journal of Applied Systems Studies 'JASS': Methodologies and
      Applications for Systems Approaches

   o  SAFECOMP, 24-27 October 2000, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

   o  SPI2000: Sixth International Conference on Software Process
      Improvement, 4-7 December 2000, Gothenburg, Sweden

   o  ACM SIGSOFT 2000 Eighth International Symposium on the Foundations
      of Software Engineering (FSE-8), November  6-10, 2000

   o  Call for Papers: Tenth International World Wide Web Conference

   o  QTN Article Submittal, Subscription Information


    4th Annual International Software & Internet Quality Week Europe
              Conference Theme: Initiatives For The Future

                          20-24 November 2000
                         Brussels, Belgium  EU


The complete program for the 4th International Software & Internet
Quality Week Conference [QWE2000] (Theme: Initiatives For The Future) to
be held 20-24 November 2000 in Brussels, Belgium EU, is now available


The QWE2000 International Advisory Board has assembled a terrific
international team of over 60 speakers.  Discover the state-of-the-art
in software and internet QA and testing from around the world:  from the
USA to the UK, from Canada to Brazil, from Europe to China!

Our goal with QWE2000 is to bring together industry and academic,
software and internet oriented, European and non-European specialists.

The QWE2000 Program features:

* Pressing questions and issues discussed by a distinguished lineup of
  Industrial Keynote Speakers:

   - Tom Gilb (Results Planning) The Ten Most Powerful Principals
     for Quality in Software Organizations
   - Jens Pas (I2B) Test Out-Sourcing: From Necessary Evil to E-
     Competitive Advantage
   - Lisa Crispin (iFactor-e) Stranger in a Strange Land: Bringing
     QA to a Web Startup
   - Hans Buwalda (CMG Finance) Soap Opera Testing
   - Tom Drake (ICCI) The Future of Software Quality - Our Brave New
     World-Are We Ready?

* 12 pre-conference Tutorials conducted by the foremost experts in their

* Five Parallel Tracks that cover the broad field of software quality
  with the latest developments:

   - Technology: From browser-based website testing to UML methods
   - Internet: E-commerce experience, Internet Time and Site
   - Applications: Hear solutions from researchers and practitioners
   - Management: Managing Testing, Quality Improvement, Process
   - Vendor Technical Presentations allow you to broaden your tools
     and services information.

* For The First Time Ever... The Information Systems Examination Board
  (ISEB) of the British Computer Society has accredited the standard
  full course for delegates at Quality Week Europe with some experience
  in testing, who wish to take the examination leading to the Foundation
  Certificate in Software Testing.  The course will take 18 hours
  including the "closed book" exam which consists of forty multiple-
  choice questions.  The exam will be offered during the conference
  supervised by an ISEB proctor.  The exam results and ISEB certificates
  will be presented at a special announcement during QWE2000.

* Industry Exhibitors who will showcase their services and latest
  products at the Two-Day Trade Show (Expo: 22-23 November 2000).
  Exhibitors include: Amphora Quality Technologies, CMG, eValid, Gitek,
  I2B, McCabe Associates, NexusWorld Limited, PolySpace, ps_testware,
  RadView, Rational, SIM Group Limited, Upspring Software, SR Institute,
  SDRC Slate TBI, and more.

* Special Events: Attendees will tour two small family-run factories to
  sample Belgium's most famous products:  Belgian Chocolate and Belgian
  Beer.  Can you argue with that?

Mark your calendars *NOW* for QWE2000, in beautiful downtown Brussels,
20-24 November 2000.  Register early on-line and receive Early Bird
Special Pricing for the Quality Week Europe 2000 Conference.


                      Stress Relief (Part 1 of 2)
                            Richard Ellison

Reprinted by permission of Justin Kestelyn (CMP)


      The IT manager's cell phone rang.  The caller, the CEO of an
      e-commerce business whose Web site had just crashed under
      the Christmas shopper load, was frantic.  All he could talk
      about was his entire company crashing along with the Web

      His high-flying IPO was about to fade away!

How many times have you approved a software prototype for development,
only to see it crash under a full production load? Have you ever gone to
an e-commerce portal to buy something, waited in vain for a response,
and then simply clicked over to another site to buy exactly the same

A friend of mine told me recently how a vendor was demonstrating a
prototype of some Web-based order-processing software for his company.
This system was supposed to serve employees in his department, which is
spread across the East coast, through the corporate intranet. The
release date arrived with great fanfare; everyone in the department
received the URL of the application. As they logged onto the new system
at the appointed time, the load instantly crashed the Web server and the
database server. It simply couldn't handle the load. The outside vendor
had to go back to its drawing board, having lost its reputation and a
large customer as well.

All these scenarios are symptoms of the same problem: a lack of
predeployment load testing. Load testing is a specialty within the
software quality assurance area that addresses this need; it involves
the use of packaged or home-grown tools that emulate thousands of logins
to the subject application. This specialty is growing both in importance
and popularity because e-business is making performance not only a more
important issue, but also one that you need to address earlier in the
development cycle.

That's So "Yesterday"

In the old days, an application was limited to a department on one
floor. One of the final tests before rolling it out would be to ask all
the end users to stay a little late one evening to bang on their
keyboards until the boss said "stop." That was the "load test."

The dynamics on the end-user side have changed dramatically. Today, the
end users may not only be on separate floors, but in separate buildings
in faraway cities around the world; furthermore, most of them may not
even be employees. It's not always economical, not to mention possible,
to pay people to load the system down. Nor can you perform strategic
testing to determine future computing needs if you don't exceed the
current user volume in your test.

The dynamics of the technical side have changed dramatically, too.
Remember when the network comprised a dumb terminal or a powerful PC
wired directly to a mainframe? In those days, performance was a rather
simple issue.  Now, hundreds or thousands of local PC users are
connected to an Ethernet LAN, which is connected through a firewall to
the Internet.  The system processing the transaction may be anywhere
from two to 12 "hops" across the country; it may comprise a firewall, a
Web server, and one or several application servers and databases.
Often, a legacy mainframe system is hooked to the back of the back end.
That's a lot of potential bottlenecks to worry about; many pieces of
hardware and software sit between the customer and the back-end systems,
and each one adds more time to the total response.  If each piece adds
only a half-second to the total performance, the minimum response time,
even before any business logic processing, would be four to 30 seconds.

Distributed, multitiered architecture is only part of the problem,
however.  Whereas huge costs used to limit dedicated-line information
transfer to only the largest of corporations, it is now cheaper to
deliver data through the Internet, and end-user setup is measured in
minutes and days, rather than weeks and months.  Consequently, it's now
a given that huge numbers of remote users can access your systems.

Furthermore, e-commerce may be only a mouse-click away, but so is "e-
competition." Disgruntled customers don't have to obtain, install, and
learn another vendor's software in order to take their business
elsewhere; they just click away somewhere else.  The propensity to jump
brands is much higher! Nearly instantaneous, in an e-business

                            To Be Continued


                ISEB Qualification for Software Testers

This qualification is administered by the British Computer Society's
Information Systems Examination Board (ISEB). It will consist of three
levels: Foundation Certificate, Practitioner Certificate and
Practitioner Diploma.

Foundation Certificate:  This syllabus was finalised in September 1998.
Grove Consultants was the first training provider to be accredited and
taught the first ISEB Foundation Certificate Course in October 1998. By
October of 2000 we had trained over 900 people with a pass rate of 86%.

Practitioner Certificate: Development of the syllabus for this
qualification is nearing completion with the draft syllabus available on
the ISEB web site. The comments made during the consultation period
(which has now ended) will be considered at a future ISEB board meeting.
It is hoped that the syllabus will be released before the end of the
year. Course providers will then have to develop their training material
and seek accreditation to teach the course. This process of gaining
accreditation alone could take several weeks. It is therefore unlikely
that accredited courses will be available from Grove before next spring.

Practitioner Diploma: Work on the syllabus for this qualification will
not be started until after the Practitioner Certificate scheme is

    Dorothy Graham
    Grove Consultants                                Tel: 01625 616279
    Grove House                                      Fax: 01625 619979
    40 Ryles Park Road
    Macclesfield, Cheshire                  Email:
    SK11 8AH  UK                            WWW:


                            SERG REPORT 390
               Data Network Language Design, Xiaoning Yan

Below is an abstract for a new SERG Report which has been recently
completed by McMaster University's Software Engineering Group.  The
report is on our web page and is available in both PostScript and PDF

Our web address for downloading reports is:


Contact: Doris Burns 


"The effect of computer networks on our ability to access information
cannot be overstated.  Today, anyone with access to the Internet can
quickly view or retrieve any files that any other Internet user has
chosen to make available".*

When we use this access to do a search, we find that often the results
of the search are not easily used to what we want because the data
stored on the Internet are unstructured and inconsistent.

This situation might be improved by setting up a new class of public
computer networks (Data Networks), where the computers query each other
to get answers that people need. A new language, called Data Network
Language (DNL), is developed in this thesis as a query language for a
Data Network. The data that are stored in a DNL database are structured
data, such as sets, relations or mathematical expressions.

In this thesis, the syntax and grammar rules of DNL are developed along
with a set of constructors that will be used for retrieval of data
stored in a DNL database.  A DNL lexical analyzer and parser (generated
by LEX and YACC in UNIX) are also developed.  Some illustrative examples
are provided.

(*) David L. Parnas, McMaster Software Engineering Group, McMaster
University, Dept. of Computing and Software, Hamilton, ON, Canada.


            Testing of Object-Oriented Software: Life Cycle
                   by Imran Bashir and Amrit L. Goel

Comments (supplied by book Author Imran Bashir):  This book attempts to
provide guidance in object-oriented(OO) software engineering life cycle
testing issues. This book can be considered a book of testing recipes
for the various stages of OO software engineering. We attempt to cover
all major phases of an OO software engineering life cycle.  We identify
various artifacts at each stage and attempt to provide guidelines for
testing these artifacts. Pragmatically speaking, one may not be able to
utilize or need all recipes described in this book. Instead, depending
on the need, the size of the project, and the availability of tools,
these recipes can be utilized, ignored, or customized.

We explicitly and individually address testing issues during
requirements, design, coding, integration, and system testing phases. We
discuss each of these aspects in a template style. Our template consists
of objective, approach, activities, resources, effort, and acceptance
criteria. For each phase of the OO software engineering life cycle, we
attempt to provide testing recipes based on this template.

The book is intended for four types of audience: (i) software
practitioners who have been using OO technology and wondering whether
they should change their testing practices; (ii) software managers who
are new to the OO software; (iii) researchers who are strictly
interested in the code level unit and integration testing of OO
software; and, (iv) students of OO technology who want to learn about
the impact of testing throughout the OO software engineering life

Contact the author at: Imran Bashir 


               Managing Requirements: From Battleship to
                    Heat-Seeking Missile (Part 1/2)
             David L. Moore, Independent Testing Consultant

A look at the role of software requirements specifications in the
changing world of software development.

The Ministry of Funny Specifications

It seems that whenever you get a group of 'requirements aware' people in
a room they start performing a Pythonesque performance of 'who has seen
the worst specification'.

"When I was a programmer I received a specification on a napkin, written
with tomato sauce, in Arabic and we still delivered the system on time
and within budget!"

Everybody knows they should use good specifications. However, the
consensus is that most developments don't have adequate specifications,
if they are lucky enough to have them at all.

Yet bad requirements are the key cause for project failure. The Standish
Group's Chaos Report (1994) clearly found that lack of user input, and
incomplete and changing specifications were the main reasons for project
failure. To a significant degree these are inherently linked. If the
customer doesn't have adequate input then bad specifications are
inevitable. It should come as no surprise that the same report found
that over thirty percent of projects were canceled before completion,
sixteen percent were successful and the remainder were delivered
contrary to expectations. Projects also tended to take twice as long,
and cost twice as much, as expected.

Various reports indicate that finding an error in the requirements, and
fixing it then, can be up to two hundred times cheaper than finding and
fixing an error in maintenance.  When you realize that this may involve
shipping of upgraded products, field maintenance or returning to factory
for upgrades it is simple to see these figures may be very conservative
for certain cases.

It is highly likely that you have been affected by projects like this.
You may have heard excuses such as:

* "We don't know exactly what the product will be yet",

* "There are difficulties in obtaining commitment for the extra up-front
effort required",

* "Requirements are hard to write and all they do is keep changing", and

* "We have a deadline and can't afford the luxury of writing a

These sorts of excuses are preparation for failure and if that isn't
Pythonesque I don't know what is.

Software Development and Requirements

The demands on software development are increasing. Customers want more
and they want it faster than before. Applications, environments, tools,
methodologies, processes, and platforms are all constantly changing and
development is either driving the change or following it. In either case
it is impossible to look into your crystal ball and see where it will
end up. Yesterday's next-big-thing is today's also-ran and tomorrow's
maintenance nightmare.

The future world of software development will be just as volatile.
Luckily the requirements only need to capture what problems need to be
solved, not how to solve them.

The textbooks say that the software requirements specification is a
description of the objectives and capabilities of the intended system.
But it is much more than that. It is the place where discussions with
the customer turn into recorded expectations for the system to be
delivered. There is an emotional commitment that goes beyond the words.
The specification also provides focus for the activities that will
follow including design, testing, delivery, risk assessment, and change
management. Its mere existence provides a degree of clarity for the
project objectives. However, there are many stake-holders in the
specification so don't write something in isolation, call it a
specification, and expect to have all your problems solved.

What are some nice things to have before starting?

There are some nice things that, if you already have them, make the job
of managing software requirements specifications a lot less onerous. As
important and valuable as these things are, they are not prerequisites
to writing and using good requirements.

* A project plan. To provide overall vision and guidance to the project.

* A good relationship with your customer. If you don't have a good
relationship with your customer don't worry too much, working towards
good specifications is a step towards improved customer relations.

* A formal development methodology. It would be very nice if your
specification was not part of an ad-hoc development process.

* Configuration management and version control systems. To make sure
that all the right things are in the right place at the right time.

* A metrics program. To monitor progress and fine-tune your processes.

What about models and requirements?

I have heard it said that "I don't need requirements, I have a model".
This is simply not true. Modeling is a design based activity. Models are
not a replacement for good specifications, rather they are dependent on
them. Conversely, your requirements can be significantly improved
through the elaboration processes involved in modeling. When gaps in the
design are identified questions need to be asked. The answers are fed
back into the specification for project wide visibility.

Remember that only the requirements need to be understood by the
customer. A requirement is the statement of a capability required by the
user to solve a problem and it should not be obscured by proposed
solutions. The customer should not be expected to understand design
issues. I know what I want a car to do. I don't necessarily care how it
does it.

So how do you write a good specification?

As unique as your project may be, don't try to re-invent the wheel.
There are numerous sample specifications and standards available from
many organizations. I would suggest that you track down a few and see
which one suits you best. Try starting with IEEE, ISO, Military and
Australian standards.

Choose one that includes guidance and sample text, preferably inline
rather than  accompanying text. This makes it much easier to understand
what is required of the author. Section headings alone are not enough.
One of the main reasons for using a sample or standard is to give you a
good start.

Live and work with it for a while before deciding to discard any
elements of it. It is better to mark a section as 'not applicable' than
to delete it off hand. After a few projects you can make an informed
decision on their permanent removal.

You will discover that the requirements that need to find their way into
the specification come from many different sources. They may come from
marketing documents, existing systems, people's heads, business rules,
system prototypes and industry standards. It is important to keep track
of all the inputs to your requirements as you will need to ensure that
they have been correctly translated from their source. For example, what
marketing brochure influenced which section of the specification and was
the interpretation valid?

When you start writing the specification try to work through it in an
iterative fashion. Try not to spend too much time on any one section. If
you find you are spending too much time on a section mark it as 'to be
determined' and move on. Set yourself a time limit for each section and
the iteration as a whole. This will help you to avoid variations in
depth of detail. It is better to have a less detailed complete
specification than to have one section incredibly detailed and the rest
non-existent. This also allows you to keep an eye on the big picture and
evolve the language and detail of the document to suit the audience. It
is very frustrating to write a very detailed document only to find that
you have gone three levels too deep for the audience. Too much detail
also tends to force the author into 'designing' where requirements seem
a bit thin.

The iterative approach also helps you get into the mindset required to
cope with the inevitable changes to the requirements. If you have not
invested huge amounts of time and effort into the specification when the
first review comes up, you are less likely to have an emotional
investment in the direction of the project. As a result suggested
changes are less likely to be construed as criticism.

Review or inspect the document early and often. From the reviews you
must provide feedback to all stakeholders and address each issue in some
way. If you don't, the people involved in reviews will see that their
issues aren't being addressed and won't bother making comments in the

The iterative approach to specification writing can serve as an example
to the rest of the project. Change can then be built into your
development strategy. As a result a problem becomes an opportunity to
increase customer satisfaction.

                            To Be Continued


              Latest Features in eValid 2.1 October Build

eValid is a Test Enabled Web Browser(tm) that performs all the functions
needed for detailed WebSite static and dynamic testing, QA/Validation,
page tuning, and load generation.  eValid runs on Windows 98/NT/2000.

eValid's Ver. 2.1, now available for download, includes a rich feature
set that makes your WebSite quality project as simple as possible:

   * All Functions Available In Menu Pulldowns
     - Full capability browser (100% IE compatible)
     - Totally ObjectMode plus RealTime record/play operation
     - Simple, editable script language
     - Playback logfiles are spread-sheet, database ready
   * Functional Testing Support
     - Multiple validation modes
     - Screen area validation and synchronization
     - Secure session support
     - Java Applet, ActiveX Control support
     - JavaScript, VBScript support
     - Tests with Flash, Shockwave, etc.
     - Wizards to test links, objects, elements, etc.
   * Script Playback Control Flexibility
     - Pause/Resume, Run Multiple, Run Forever
     - Session timing limits and alarms
     - Command line interface, API
   * WebSite Page Tuning
     - Complete, detailed timings including page rendering times
     - Page component timing breakdown
     - Built-in graphical reporting
   * Loading and Capacity Analysis
     - Simplified user-setup eliminates script editing (*NEW*)
     - 100% browser based user scenario simulations
     - Multi-user load scenario definition
     - Multiple browser (e.g. 250+) auto-launch
     - Dialup modem simulation
     - Scenario Montior and During-Test Statistics (*NEW*)

See what people are saying about eValid:

Try out a DEMO Version of eValid Ver. 2.1 by downloading from:

Or request an EVAL key for the full eValid product from:

eValid's Page Tuning feature is illustrated at:

The eValid LoadTest feature is described at:

Details from ; license keys from 


               Journal of Applied Systems Studies 'JASS':
         Methodologies and Applications for Systems Approaches


JASS announces that the Special Issue on  "Virtual Organizations and E-
Commerce Applications"  has been scheduled.

If you are interested in the above special issue title  AND  for the
current issues, please visit JASS web site.


                     SAFECOMP 2000, October 2000,

The 19th international conference on computer safety, reliability and
security will be held 24-27 October 2000, Rotterdam, Netherlands.  Check
out the SAFECOMP 2000 website at:


Safecomp is an annual 2-1/2 day event reviewing the state of the art,
experiences and new trends in the areas of computer safety, reliability
and security regarding dependable applications of computer systems.
Before and after Safecomp tutorials are given, covering several topics
within the field of interest.


              SPI 2000: Sixth International Conference on
                      Software Process Improvement
                           4-7 December 2000
                           Gothenburg, Sweden

                Theme: Meeting the Integration Challenge


SPI 2000:  a unique conference with excellent opportunities for
networking and open discussion of issues, with software process
practitioners who are working to improve the quality of their companies'
software processes.

SPI 2000:  for all software managers who need to take key decisions on
resourcing and direction through measuring the value of software process
improvement in their organization.

SPI 2000 is the sixth event in this successful series, wholly devoted to
software process improvement in practice, with this year's emphasis on
SPI integration and harmonization.

                    Annie Combelles (Q-Labs, France)
               Bill Curtis (TeraQuest Metrics Inc., USA)
            Dewayne Perry (University of Texas, Austin, USA)
          Wilhelm Schaefer (University of Paderborn, Germany)
                         Colin Tully (CTA, UK)

                           KEYNOTE PRESENTERS
                     Geir Fagerhus (Q-Labs, Sweden)
                     Eamonn McGuiness (Aimware,USA)
            Dewayne Perry (University of Texas, Austin, USA)
                         Colin Tully (CTA, UK)


         ACM SIGSOFT 2000 Eighth International Symposium on the
              Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE-8)

             Theme: Foundations of Software Engineering to
                   Support 21st Century Applications


                          November  6-10, 2000
                    Shelter Pointe Hotel and Marina
               Shelter Island, San Diego, California, USA

SIGSOFT 2000 brings together researchers and practitioners from academia
and industry to exchange new results related to both traditional and
emerging fields of software engineering.  Register on line at:




The Tenth International World Wide Web Conference (WWW10)

Hong Kong, China May 1-5, 2001


Committed to advancing the Web to its full potential in the 21st
century, WWW10 will offer a forum for Web researchers and practitioners
to define, discuss, and disseminate the most up-to-date Web techniques
and information. Leaders from industry, academia, and government will
present the latest developments in Web technology.  Developers will
describe their most recent system and software innovations for the Web.
Users will discuss the issues and challenges facing the Web community.
While the Web offers a world-wide connection with widely distributed
virtual meeting places, WWW10 will provide a centralized location where
members of the Web community can assemble in high concentration to meet
face-to-face and interact.

The conference will consist of refereed paper sessions, panel sessions,
a poster track, a W3C track, and several specialized tracks including
Culture, E-commerce on the Web, Law and the Web, Vendors Track, Web and
Education, Web Internationalization, and Web and Society. The conference
will be preceded by a day of tutorials and workshops, and will conclude
with a developers' day.

WWW10 is jointly hosted by The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The
University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology,
Hong Kong Productivity Council, Cable and Wireless HKT Schoolteam (Asia)
Ltd., The Hong Kong Information Technology Federation, and The Hong Kong
Web Symposium Consortium.

The International World Wide Web Conferences are events of the
International World Wide Web Conference Committee (IW3C2), and are
managed by Foretec Seminars, Inc.


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