«Software Fault Reporting Processes in Business-Critical Systems Jon Arvid Børretzen Doctoral Thesis Submitted for the partial fulfilment of the ...»
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Appendix A: Papers This section contains the seven papers P1-P7 as presented in section 1.5, as well as a proposed paper P8 presented as a technical report. It should be noted that the papers have been re-formatted from their original format to fit into this thesis.
P1. Safety activities during early software project phases Jon Arvid Børretzen, Tor Stålhane, Torgrim Lauritsen, and Per Trygve Myhrer Department of Computer and Information Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway Email: email@example.com Abstract This paper describes how methods taken from safety-critical practises can be used in development of business-critical software. The emphasis is on the early phases of product development, and on use together with the Rational Unified Process. One important part of the early project phases is to define safety requirements for the system. This means that in addition to satisfying the need for functional system requirements, non-functional requirements about system safety must also be included.
By using information that already is required or produced in the first phases of RUP together with some suitable “safety methods”, we are able to produce a complete set of safety requirements for a business-critical system before the system design process is started.
Software systems play an increasingly important role in our daily lives. The technological development has lead to the introduction of software systems into an increasing number of areas. In many of these areas we become dependent on these systems, and their weaknesses could have grave consequences. There are areas where correctly functioning software is important for the health and well-being of humans, like air-traffic control and in health systems. There are, however, other systems that we also expect and hope will run correctly because of the negative effects of failure, even if the consequences are mainly of an economic nature. This is what we call business-critical systems, and business-critical software. The number of areas where functioning software is at the core of operation is steadily increasing. Both financial systems and ebusiness systems are relying on increasingly larger and more complex software systems.
In order to increase the quality and efficiency of such products we need methods, techniques and processes specifically aimed at improving the development, use and maintenance of this type of software.
In this paper, we will discuss methods that can be used together with Rational Unified Process in the early parts of a development project. These methods are Safety Case, Preliminary Hazard Analysis and Hazard and Operability Analysis. Our contribution is to combine these methods into a comprehensive method for use early in the development of business-critical systems.
The BUCS project is a research project funded by the Norwegian Research Council (NFR). The goal of the BUCS project is to help developers, users and customers to develop software that is safe to use. In a business environment this means that the system seldom or never behaves in such a way that it causes the customer or the customer’s users to lose money or important information. We will use the term “business-safe” for this characteristic.
The goal of the BUCS project is not to help developers to finish their development on schedule and to the agreed price. We are not particularly interested in delivered functionality or how to identify or avoid process and project risk. This is not because we think that these things are not important – it is just that we have defined them out of the BUCS project.
The BUCS project is seeking to develop a set of integrated methods to improve support for analysis, development, operation, and maintenance of business-critical systems.
Some methods will be taken from safety-critical software engineering practices, while others will be taken from general software engineering. Together they are tuned and refined to fit into this particular context and to be practical to use in a software development environment. The research will be based on empirical studies, where interviews, surveys and case studies will help us understand the needs and problems of the business critical software developers.
Early in the BUCS project, we conducted a series of short interviews with eight software developing companies as a pre-study to find some important issues we should focus on [Stålhane03]. These interviews showed us that many companies used or wanted to use RUP or similar processes, and that a common concern in the industry was lack of communication, both internally and with the customers. With this basis, the BUCS project has decided to use RUP as the environment for our enhanced methods, and the methods used will be helpful in improving communication on requirements gathering, implementation and documentation in a software development project.
Adaptation of methods from safety-critical development has to be done so that the methods introduced fit into RUP and are less complicated and time consuming than
when used in regular safety-critical development.