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Utilizing Continuous Integration environments for evaluation of software quality attributes: a practical road map
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering. Ericsson AB.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5949-1375
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7526-3727
Örebro University.
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3646-235x
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The evaluation of quality attributes is often conducted in an ad-hoc manner in many companies.This practice, although often necessary to reduce cost, can lead to inefficient work and undetected quality defects.To mitigate these issues, approaches that make use of metrics/data from Continuous Integration (CI) environments have been proposed, offering many advantages, including timely feedback on code quality, early detection of quality issues, and visual representation of system quality trends.

Despite these known benefits, there is a lack of frameworks that provide guidelines how to utilize CI environments, or their components, for quality attribute evaluation.Such guidelines are important since market demands on software quality factors, e.g., security or performance, are growing.Therefore, this study aims to explore the state-of-the-practice in using CI environments and identify shared guidelines underlying industrial practices.To achieve our research objectives, we conducted a multi-case study involving four selected companies and 22 interviews with industrial participants.

In this paper, we first present a general model to offer an overview of how CI environments contribute to quality attribute evaluation.We then introduce common quality metrics used in the studied companies and from which CI components these metrics can be acquired.Finally, based on the study's findings, we propose a hierarchical and multi-layered decision support model for improving a CI environment's quality evaluation capabilities over time.

Keywords [en]
Continuous Integration, Quality attributes, Quality evaluation, Metrics, Empirical study
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-24401OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-24401DiVA, id: diva2:1746899
Available from: 2023-03-29 Created: 2023-03-29 Last updated: 2023-04-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Utilizing Continuous Integration environments for evaluation of software quality attributes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Utilizing Continuous Integration environments for evaluation of software quality attributes
2023 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Software quality attributes are properties that reflect the quality of a software system, and Non-functional requirements (NFRs) are the specifications that define how a software system should perform to reach a desired level of goals of the quality attributes.The evaluation of quality attributes is important to show the effectiveness of a system in meeting customers' NFRs.

Continuous integration (CI) environments have emerged as powerful platforms for organizations to improve software quality through automated software verification and validation.Despite this, there is a growing need for evaluating quality attributes that is often met by in-house development of metrics and tools.This highlights the importance of quality attributes for software product quality.

This thesis investigates the association between quality attributes and components of a CI environment, as well as how to utilize these components for evaluating software quality attributes.The focus is on improving the knowledge of the evaluation and providing specific recommendations for companies to enhance their CI environments for higher demands of quality evaluation.The contributions of this thesis include a better understanding of the relationship between quality attributes and CI components, and a set of practical guidelines for companies to effectively leverage CI for quality attribute evaluation.

The studies in this thesis utilized mixed methodologies, including a systematic literature review, a multi-case study conducted in four software development companies, and an synthesis of the collected data.The multi-case study provided a comprehensive overview of practices for quality attribute evaluation and how CI components can generate data to support the evaluation of specific attributes.The synthesis study presents a maturity model based on the collected data from both academia and industry, and the model can aid organizations in assessing their current level of maturity in utilizing CI environments to identify potential improvements.The results in these studies show the capabilities of different components of a CI environment and how these components can be used to support the evaluation of quality attributes.While the use of CI environments for the thesis topic offers benefits, it also presents several challenges, for example, the challenge to identify effective quality metrics.

In conclusion, this thesis contributes to the understanding of the use of CI environments for evaluating software quality attributes.The results suggest that CI environments can be an effective approach for quality attribute evaluation, but suitable metrics need to be considered to ensure accurate and meaningful evaluation results. Furthermore, the thesis presents areas for future research, such as the use of machine learning techniques to improve the accuracy of quality assessment using CI environments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2023
Series
Blekinge Institute of Technology Licentiate Dissertation Series, ISSN 1650-2140 ; 5
Keywords
Quality attributes, Quality metrics, Non-functional requirement, Continuous integration, Empirical software engineering
National Category
Software Engineering
Research subject
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-24402 (URN)978-91-7295-457-1 (ISBN)
Presentation
2023-06-14, J1630 + Zoom, Karlskrona, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2023-04-17 Created: 2023-04-12 Last updated: 2023-08-22Bibliographically approved

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Yu, LiangAlégroth, EmilGorschek, Tony

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