PRINCETON JUNCTION, NJ, February 4, 2002-The International Organization for Standards (ISO) announced in early December 2001 that recognition of Function Points as an international standard had taken a major step forward. By a large majority, the national bodies comprising ISO approved the application for recognition filed by the International Function Point Users Group (IFPUG). Following resolution of the comments accompanying the votes of approval, Function Points will become the first software functional sizing methodology to be recognized as an international standard. James W. Moore, Chair of the US Technical Advisory Group to ISO/IEC JTC1/SC7, the international standards committee for software engineering, stated that, “The official ISO approval of IFPUG Function Point Analysis is appropriate recognition of the de facto standard used by software organizations worldwide”.
Function Point analysis is a methodology for determining the size of computer software based on a logical user point of view. The use of Function Points is essential to the management of computer systems. Function Point analysis is a proven, reliable method for measuring software development work-products. Function Points are extremely useful in communicating customer requirements as well as measuring productivity and quality, estimating projects and managing change of scope. Originally created by Allan Albrecht of IBM in the late-1970s, Function Points became public property in the mid-1980s, and have since become a de facto, worldwide standard for the functional sizing of software. The importance of the Function Point methodology lies in its independence from the physical implementation, programming languages and development processes used to develop software. Thus, unlike measures such as Lines-of-Code, Function Points can be used to compare the effect of using different development approaches and tools for developing software.
The International Function Point Users Group (IFPUG), a non-profit, volunteer organization, maintains the rules and procedures for calculating Function Points. The definitions, available from IFPUG, are documented in the Function Point Counting Practices Manual. IFPUG, the premier software measurement organization, promotes and encourages the effective management of software development and maintenance activities through the use of Function Point Analysis and other software measurement techniques. IFPUG conferences, workshops and membership provide a forum for networking, education and information exchange that encourages the use of software product and process metrics.