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Archived Curricula Guide 2011–2012
Curricula Guide is archieved. Please refer to current Curricula Guides
TKOPS147 Software Tools and Evaluation 5 ECTS
Organised by
Computer Science
Person in charge
Assistant professor Eleni Berki.
Preceding studies
The course participants should have advanced knowledge on software development project management and software engineering concepts. Some mathematical and/or statistical background is required in order to understand, abstract and use in practice the concepts that will be discussed and applied in the course.

General description

Software tools were originally simple and light weight, used by a few people in software development. In the realm, though, of the ongoing ICT development the increasing number of tools and respective end-users has given rise to new issues for attention. Software tools –very different from applications- are continuously being developed and a number of them have been part of more powerful integrated development environments (IDEs). These environments consolidate functionality, sometimes increasing simplicity/complexity and productivity, or/and sacrificing flexibility and extensibility.

The right choice of software tools and methods is crucial for all the phases of the software development process, from requirements gathering to maintenance stages. Moreover, the ability to use a variety of software tools productively and, most importantly, to recognise the right tool for the right case, is significant knowledge for a skilled software developer. This course will utilise a comparative and critical, analytical approach to software tools, examining their features, suitability and quality features they possess. Thus, it will provide a higher level of abstraction to view and evaluate software quality features as these are accommodated in software tools, and it will derive useful, practical and applicable knowledge for tools’ end-users and developers.

Learning outcomes

1. To become acquainted with some analyses and taxonomies of a variety of software tools, their use in the software development process, and their classification criteria.
2. To become aware of and support a software tool assessment methodology, and provide a base for creating practical guidelines for evaluation.
3. To present, compare and contrast a variety of different application domains where different software tools are used within different scope and purposes.
4. To build scientific criteria for tool evaluation based on the choice of appropriate tool attributes, describe suitable metrics for its evaluation, and using these metrics when applying measurement procedures.


The course will refer to the following topics: Software Quality Assurance (SQA), software tools and their contribution to software development and quality, measurement and measurability, software metrics, CASE and metrication, criteria for evaluation and taxonomy.

The main focus of the course will be on the criteria for macro-evaluation (evaluation of the software tool itself), meta-evaluation (evaluation of the tool development) and micro-evaluation (evaluation of products developed with this tool). Additionally the course will deal with the following questions: What can be measured, and what not? How metrication can be carried out? How software quality could be assured? Why is it important to evaluate? When is it necessary to measure? Who requires measurements for SQA and who does not? When is evaluation needed? Which software tools support the previous activities?

Teaching methods

Teaching method Contact Online

Lectures/seminars/guest talks based on (i) the most definitive and classic pieces of classification on software tools, found e.g. in the Software Engineering books of Pressman, Somerville and others, and (ii) recent research on software quality and evaluation procedures.

Teaching language


Modes of study

Evaluation and evaluation criteria

Numeric 1-5.
50% Coursework (1 seminar presentation + exercises/tasks delivery) AND 50% Final Exam or Research Essay writing.

Recommended year of study

The course is at advanced MSc/Ph.D. level.

Study materials

Standard Resources for Reference - Bibliography (Sample):

  1. IEEE Standard 1209, Recommended Practice for the Evaluation and Selection of CASE Tools, IEEE, New York, 1992.
  2. ISO/IEC 14102, Information Technology - Guideline for the Evaluation and Selection of CASE Tools, Geneva, Switzerland, 1995.
  3. ISO/IEC 9126, Information Technology - Software Product Evaluation - Quality Characteristics and Guidelines for Their Use.
  4. IEEE Standard 982.1, Standard Dictionary of Measures to Produce Reliable Software - Draft, IEEE, New York, 2003.
  5. Ihme T. et al., Developing Application Frameworks for Mission-Critical Software: Using Space Application, Research Notes 1933, Technical Research Centre of Finland, VTT Espoo, Finland, 1998.
  6. IEEE Standard 1061, Software Quality Metrics Methodology, IEEE, New York, 1988.
  7. Wichmann, B. Guidance for the Adoption of Tools for Use in Safety Related Software Development, Draft Report, British Computer Society, London, UK, 1999.

Belongs to following study modules

School of Information Sciences
School of Information Sciences
School of Information Sciences
Archived Teaching Schedule. Please refer to current Teaching Shedule.
School of Information Sciences