Function Point (FP) Analysis is a standard method for measuring software development effort and size from the user/customer point of view. The size of the new or ongoing development project is expressed nowadays in Function Points. Function Points measure what is delivered to the customer, not how it is delivered, i.e. irrespective of which language is used for coding.
At what time is FP Analysis done?
Function Points for the system or application may be analyzed any time during the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) after high-level user requirements are frozen. When a count is done early in the life cycle of a project, it is called a Function Point Estimate and approximates a project rather than measures it. Assumptions can be made in the early counts, but they should be documented. Accurate function point estimates can be made when the detailed user requirements are complete.
What is an FP count used for?
Function Point Analysis sizes the functionality delivered to the customer based on the user's Business Requirements. The resulting Function Point Count provides a basis for creating a variety of valuable software process performance and quality measures which can be used for benchmarking as well as for measuring the improvements in the software development process. The Function Point Count facilitates determining project effort and size, and hence costs, duration (in calendar months), quality (potential defects and complexities) and productivity (man-months). Counts done early in the project life cycle can be used for project estimation, such as man-months required, the duration of the project, testing time required, or the number of resources required.
Adjusting the Function Point Count
The general characteristics of the System under consideration for FP analysis must be accounted for and their influence on the system factored to get the total number of Adjusted Function Points. This is done by examining 14 general system characteristics of the system, such as the transaction rate, performance, and installation ease. Each characteristic is evaluated by its degree of influence on the system. The total degree of influence is used in a formula to give the Adjusted Function Point Count, commonly called the Function Point Count.
You should be able to use the tool that I am attaching with this article to calculate Function Points. To find out more about various components of the FP Analysis and the instructions on how to use the tool, please see the attached user guide.
The tool has a very user-friendly GUI developed in C# .NET. By reading the user guide, you may easily work with the tool to get the FP count for your system, however big or small it is.
Updates to the first version
- There are now features to add, edit and delete an EI from a business process
- Features added for adding, editing and deleting EO and EQ from the list of EOs and EQs respectively
- Features added for adding, editing and deleting ILFs, EIFs, and DETs from an EI, EQ and EO
- Improved GUI
There is no way for the user to edit an Internal Logical File or External Interface File. So you need to just carefully add them.
Then next version will have these features.
Although I have tested the tool for common situations for potential defects, there could be a few defects. Full testing was not possible since I am the only person who worked on this tool and that too out of my interest and to be in touch with .NET. Your kind feedback is highly welcome.