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About International Standard ISO/IEC 12119

– The ISO/IEC 12119 standard was created to deal with the issues concerning the software packages that have been delivered to the client.
– This standard has nothing to do with the production process of the customer, client, person or organization to which the software has been delivered.
– ISO/IEC 12119 standard is focused up on the following two aspects of the software package delivered:

  • Set of requirements specific to it.
  • Instructions for testing the software package that was delivered. This testing is done against the requirements.
  • – There are additional requirements for some software such as the safety critical software.
    – ‘Test dossier’ is the name given to the set of documents for testing under this standard.
    – Documents might include document of prescription, requirements document, user documentation, product description, package documentation and so on.
    – The instructions for carrying out tests are given in the test case and it includes test objective, test scenario, test procedure and the elementary tests.
    – This standard is applicable to all the software packages.
    – It involves establishing requirements for the software packages and then testing them against the established requirements.
    – ISO/IEC 12119 standard covers only the offered and delivered software packages and has nothing to do with the production process.
    – Also, the supplier’s quality system does not lie in the scope of the ISO/IEC 12119 standard.
    – The requirements that are established also include the quality requirements as well as instructions for how a software package is to be tested.
    – ISO/IEC 9126: 1991 is also taken in to account by this standard since ISO/IEC 9126: 1991 defines the quality characteristics.
    – Because of the various changes in the environment, ISO/IEC 9126 has been revised and ISO/IEC 12119.
    – It is known to have some ambiguities and difficulties in its first version as reported by the certification bodies that used this standard.

    Thus, ISO/IEC 12119 was revised in the year 1994 and now has the following characteristics:

  • Maintains consistency with the Square quality model.
  • Considers the experience form its use by the certification bodies.
  • Considers the normative context.
  • Addition of clauses concerning the test report.
  • ISO/IEC 12119 standard is used by the following users and for the following purposes:

  • Suppliers for specifying requirements, in assessment of the products, creation of a form that gives product description, to issue conformity declarations and for application of certificates.
  • Certification bodies for establishing third – party certification scheme.
  • Laboratories for testing mark conformity.
  • Accreditation bodies for accrediting labs and certification bodies.
  • Buyers who want to make comparisons between the requirements and the information in the description of the products, looking for certified products and checking whether or not the requirements are met.
  • Users who may gain from better products.
  • – ISO/IEC 12119 standard is even applicable to ‘commercial off the shelf software products’ or COTS such as spreadsheets, text processors, graphics packages, technical or scientific function programs, database control programs, utility programs, web software and so on.
    – Computers are used in a number of application fields.
    – It is critical for the human safety, private and professional needs, business success that the computers should function properly.
    – A number of COTS products are produced without future users having any control on their development.
    – Therefore, it is of prime importance that we should select only the COTS that are of high quality.
    – Quality must be high since they have to operate in many different environments.
    – One thing to be noted about COTS is that their designing and producing takes very less time and also they take very less time in becoming obsolete.
    – By this, we mean they can be improved by using them and discovering just the internal errors such as lack of performance and inconsistency with the various applications.
    – For such situations, third party evaluation of the COTS is the best method for resolving a number of these issues and assuring confidence on COTS’ services.

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