What is Software Maintainability?


What did software developers say about software code Maintainability?

Software developers were found to emphasise more about changeability aspect of software source code when asked to define the Maintainability. Most of them were found to be unaware of Testability aspect.

What is Software Maintainability?

Maintainability of a software in terms of source code maintenance is considered to be one of the key criteria for acceptance of software delivery. This is also defined as one of the key characteristic of software quality as per ISO/IEC 9126, ISO/IEC 25010 standard specification.

What may make a piece of code maintainable?

  • Changeability: The code should be easy to change. This, in turn, may also get related with ease of understandability and learn-ability of code which is key sub-characteristic of Operability /Usability (refer ISO/IEC 25010 standard).
  • Testability: The block of code should be easy to test. The code testing can be achieved by unit testing frameworks such as JUnit, NUnit etc.

Maintainability of a block of code can be measured using some of the following techniques:


  • Test coverage
  • Code complexity
  • Documentation

How can the maintainability be measured?

All of the above can be measured using Sonar code governance tool. The above can also be reviewed as part of manual/peer review where tools such as Crucible/JIRA plays an important role.

Ajitesh Kumar
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