11 Criteria When Developing Software Applications

There are many aspects to consider in the design of a piece of software. The importance of each should reflect the goals the software is trying to achieve. Some of these aspects are:

  1. Compatibility – The software is able to operate with other products that are designed for interoperability with another product. For example, a piece of software may be backward-compatible with an older version of itself.
  2. Extensibility – New capabilities can be added to the software without major changes to the underlying architecture.
  3. Fault-tolerance – The software is resistant to and able to recover from component failure.
  4. Maintainability – The software can be restored to a specified condition within a specified period of time. For example, antivirus software may include the ability to periodically receive virus definition updates in order to maintain the software’s effectiveness.
  5. Modularity – the resulting software comprises well defined, independent components. That leads to better maintainability. The components could be then implemented and tested in isolation before being integrated to form a desired software system. This allows division of work in a software development project.
  6. Packaging – Printed material such as the box and manuals should match the style designated for the target market and should enhance usability. All compatibility information should be visible on the outside of the package. All components required for use should be included in the package or specified as a requirement on the outside of the package.
  7. Reliability – The software is able to perform a required function under stated conditions for a specified period of time.
  8. Reusability – the modular components designed should capture the essence of the functionality. This purpose renders the components reusable wherever there are similar needs in other designs.
  9. Robustness – The software is able to operate under stress or tolerate unpredictable or invalid input. For example, it can be designed with a resilience to low memory conditions.
  10. Security – The software is able to withstand hostile acts and influences.
  11. Usability – The software user interface must be intuitive (and often aesthetically pleasing) to its target user/audience. In many cases, online help should be included and also carefully designed.

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