Function Point Analysis: Measurement Practices for Successful Software Projects is a comprehensive presentation of the principles of function point analysis (FPA) and a guide to its effective use in managing the development and deployment of software. Written for both information technology (IT) practitioners and managers, it describes how to use this proven-but-underutilized software-sizing metric to achieve successful software projects. Completely up-to-date, the book introduces the latest rules and guidelines released in the International Function Point Users Group (IFPUG) Counting Practices Manual 4.1.
Function Point Analysis presents fundamental counting techniques for basic-to-advanced technologies. It explains the calculations for determining function point size, an indication of a software application's overall functionality and complexity. Moving beyond mechanics, the book features the most common uses of FPA and reveals experience-based techniques for applying the methodology with success.
The book covers such important topics as:
*An overview of FPA for the IT executive
*A description of software measurement, relating size to other software metrics
*Sizing data and transactional functions
*The application of general system characteristics
*counting object-oriented, Web-based, client-server, and GUI applications
*Becoming a Certified Function Point Specialist (CFPS), using a practice exam
*The use of FPA for accurate project estimating, development and maintenance outsourcing, and performance productivity baselining
*FPA automation tools
*Including function point repository tools and function point-based project estimation tools
*The role of FPA in standardizing industry benchmarking data
Numerous detailed examples and case studies demonstrate the FPA methodology in action. As a reference, tutorial, and practical guide, Function Point Analysis: Measurement Practices for Successful Software Projects raises the level of awareness and understanding of FPA and its role in bringing proven quality standards to the software development industry.
Review By: Carol A. Dekkers 09/11/2002
This book provides an introduction and context for applying function point analysis (FPA) in software development and presents the function point (FP) counting rules from the International Function Point Users Group’s (IFPUG) Counting Practices Manual Release 4.1. The book consists of sixteen chapters and is structured so that the first five chapters are overview materials covering such topics as software measurement, using function points effectively, and software industry benchmark data. The next five chapters are devoted exclusively to the IFPUG rules (and the authors’ advice); four chapters are devoted to illustrating FP case studies (case studies in counting, counting advanced technologies, counting a GUI application and counting an object-oriented application). Chapter 15 presents the authors’ analysis of what constitutes “good” tools; and the final chapter is a mock exam intended for readers who are preparing to take the IFPUG Certified Function Point Specialist (CFPS) exam. The book concludes with a series of appendixes including forms, answers to the mock exam, and frequently asked questions (FAQ).
If your needs include gaining an understanding about function points and how they fit into the grand scheme of software measurement, you may gain value from this book. While one-third of this book’s main pages contains rules out of the IFPUG Counting Practices Manual Release 4.1, the rules are interspersed with experience and opinion. Those readers who are only looking for an overview of the rules together with illustrative case studies will likely be unconcerned. However, the seamless intermingling of fact and opinion could be confusing to FP practitioners or CFPS exam candidates.
The prior release of the book in 1996 was titled Managing the Software Process, and fortunately, this sequel expands on the original premise. Besides updating the 1994 IFPUG rules (IFPUG 4.0) to the current 1999 rules (IFPUG 4.1), positive aspects to this edition include case studies that outline the authors’ proposed solutions to counting issues such as Query/Report Generators (which were excluded by the IFPUG Counting Practices Committee from the current 4.1 release); ideas about counting software developed with newer technologies; and a new practice exam intended for CFPS candidates.
If you are looking for a book to provide you with information about Software Quality Assurance (0 pages on Q/A, 0 pages indexed by the term “software quality,” 8 pages where the term “quality” is found), or about Software Testing (one testing metric is presented, otherwise “testing” is mentioned only in Appendix B as questions are posed to categorize projects), this book will not satisfy your thirst for knowledge.
In summary, is it worth the $39.95 US ($59.95 CDN) price tag for the book? It really depends on your needs—it offers the pure IFPUG 4.1 Function Point rules.