Tibor Bakota, CEOApart from maintaining software quality across the development cycle, Software Quality Assurance or SQA aims at minimizing the bugs and defects during the “highly intellectual activity.” In today’s software-based environment, there is a huge demand for qualified and cost-efficient software developers to ensure a high level of SQA. This is pushing software houses to offshore development practices into other countries where prices are lower, but ensures enhanced quality control with automated source code analysis and state-of-the-art technology. Szeged, Hungary based FrontEndART provides enterprises with precise, thorough, meaningful, and reliable facts about the quality of their source code in a consumable way. The expertise ranges from very low-level source code metrics through code duplications and coding issues to high-level ones, like maintainability of the source code.
FrontEndART was founded in 2001, with an aim to implement source code analyzer front ends—part of compiler that is responsible for building an abstract model of the source code. “Today, instead of just writing frontends, we have a unique and sophisticated method to objectively quantify the maintainability of software based on the ISO/IEC 25010 standard,” says Tibor Bakota, CEO, FrontEndART. “The approach lies on well-grounded statistical basis and goes far beyond using ‘technical debt’ measure, which is the most common way of expressing the quality of a source code nowadays.”
Most importantly, FrontEndART’s philosophy is to avoid bad code at the gates of an organization and their tool, QualityGate, is developed just to serve this purpose. “The tool offers functionalities for developers and managers to improve the code and a separate module for managing code duplications,” adds Bakota. “QualityGate includes a pre-built, customizable model that describes which aspects of quality are important in the overall qualification.”
Moreover, QualityGate also acts as a source code management tool, which runs a SourceMeter instance—a command line, platform-independent tool that performs the static analysis of source code and builds the abstract representation of it. “It encapsulates all the language frontends we have developed. After analyzing the code, it extracts plenty of information, like source code metrics,” asserts Bakota.
The depth of analysis is our major strength and SourceMeter makes it possible
“The depth of analysis is our major strength and SourceMeter makes it possible.” SourceMeter also provides XML, CSV, and textual output.
Furthermore, FrontEndART’s TestNavigator tool is used for measuring efficiency of user acceptance testing at an organization taking over software systems for future operations. TestNavigator highlights the parts of code that have changed since the previous testing round and allows the testers to focus on changed sections rather than wasting efforts on unchanged portions. This tool also helps customers in lowering the costs of testing and the ones arising from operational risks.
FrontEndART helped a large European software house who was planning to take over a large software system for further maintenance and wanted to know the risk of taking this job. As their system was over 2.5 million lines of code, making manual inspection was unaffordable. “QualityGate assessed the quality of the system which turned out to be highly un-maintainable, scoring below three on our ten-grade scale,” says Bakota. “Using our detailed assessment reports, the client was able to charge 30 percent higher prices for the mentioned project.”
The company owns a very skilled and experienced testing division consisting of certified testers for automation, writing performance test or manual testing. In the near future, FrontEndART is planning to offer QualityGate as a cloud service and improve their symbolic execution engine. “From a business perspective, we are putting efforts to strengthen our position in the U.S. through new partnerships and putting together a reseller network,” concludes Bakota.