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What's New in Function Point WORKBENCH™ Release 7.0

The Function Point WORKBENCH™ Release 7.0 includes a range of both new and enhanced features.

 


Summary Counts and the Approximator

You can now record Summary Counts in the WORKBENCH Repository. In previous WORKBENCH releases, all counts were recorded as Detailed Counts, where every attempt is made to identify each unique Transaction and Data Function Type and and assign Function Type and Complexity to them. In contrast, a Summary Count does not require identification of individual Logical Files and Transactions.

Four Summary Count levels are available. The method used to assess the Value Adjustment Factor is also recorded.

This ability to record Summary Counts is especially useful for approximated Application Baseline Counts and early project lifecycle “order of magnitude” size estimates. Summary Counts have their own Count Reports and, importantly, participate in the Portfolio Reporting.

Closely coupled with the Summary Counts is the capability to approximate Function Point size from data about the physical artefacts associated with the software being sized. This includes, for example, numbers of screens, interfaces, reports and so on. The module used to approximate the size is referred to as the Approximator. The data for the Approximator is stored as entered but can also be passed directly into an associated Summary Count.

Since this is an approximation, there is a wider margin of error than for a detailed count. However, for many important business purposes, the degree of accuracy for the Function Point size determined in this way is sufficient for the intended use.

Some examples of these business purposes are:

  • Determining the size of an Application Portfolio to satisfy ‘due diligence’ requirements prior to signing outsourcing contracts

  • Determining appropriate levels of staffing for maintenance and production support

  • Validating cost effectiveness of outsourced support

  • Assessing the asset value of the software application portfolio, for taxation or similar purposes

  • Determining replacement cost of a software application

And, importantly:

  • Establishing an Application Portfolio Baseline when a measurement program is initiated. The Baseline Counts can be refined with Detailed Counts over time, when required.

An organisation may have hundreds of applications in its portfolio. This size approximation method is obviously very much faster than performing a detailed count. It is also extremely cost effective.

To facilitate data collection, the WORKBENCH equips you with all you need to complete this task as painlessly as possible. Adobe Forms, supplied as standard components of the WORKBENCH installation, facilitate the electronic collection of data for each application or project to be sized. All you need for this step is access to Adobe Reader. The data can then be stripped by Adobe Acrobat from these forms into an XML file which is imported directly into the WORKBENCH. Adobe Acrobat provides functionality for the email distribution, tracking and collection of these forms – so your task can be made even easier.

Faster and Smarter Counting

Sort lists on column headings. Select the order you wish to work with.

Type an alphanumeric string in the Find box to filter display for matching entries.

Transform the Hierarchy into a list for fast Find or Filtering. Flag hierarchy nodes from this list. Go directly to flagged nodes in the Hierarchy.

Size a group of Transactions directly in this list.

From Search and Highlight, list matched Transactions and Components.

Bulk insert Notes directly into the Notes List. For example, paste the table of contents from your reference document directly into your Notes List and link the appropriate reference directly to your Transactions or Files.

See the entire list of Notes for the Application or use the Count Only filter to show only those Notes attached to Transactions, Files and GSCs in the Count.

Import XML Counts into the WORKBENCH.

Export a group of Counts in XML format.

Enhanced Count File List

Enhanced Method of Recording Data Function Type

Explicitly select the Data Function Type or choose to derive the Type from the way the Transactions use the Files.

The contribution of the Logical File to the Count or Count View will now consistently use the Function Point value as it appears in this list.

Support for IFPUG CPM 4.3

IFPUG 4.3 is now selectable as the IFPUG Release for a Count.

Productivity Rate Calculator

The Productivity Rate Calculator has been enhanced to generate simple estimates.

And don’t forget that this Calculator can be easily calibrated to your environment.

Publisher Enhancements

The Publisher module is now fully integrated with the WORKBENCH. Use "Reporting | Publish Count Reports" from the WORKBENCH. Publisher will open immediately, referencing your Count for reporting.

Publish reports in English, German, Korean, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. If you wish to add your language, just email support@charismatek.com.

Publish reports as:

  • MSWord document – Easy to blend into your own documents. Published in continuous format (one set of headings, continuous body text and one set of footers) ready to take up your styling, formatted into tables where appropriate. Easy to edit.

  • MSExcel document – Open in Excel for further analysis. Published in a continuous format.

  • HTML format - View with standard browser. View from remote locations.

  • MHTML format – Include the hierarchy diagram, complete with active flyover, in your reports as a concise embedded object and click - open to browse. Publish on your Intranet. Email to clients.

Some of the new reports are:

  • Transaction Details (Condensed Format)

  • File Details (Condensed Format)

  • Notes List

  • Labels List

  • Functions to Notes Cross-Reference

  • Functions to Notes Cross-Reference (Details)

  • Notes to Functions Cross-Reference

  • Notes to Functions Cross-Reference (Details)

  • Transactions to Files Cross-Reference

  • Transactions to Files Cross-Reference (Details)

  • Files to Transactions Cross-Reference

  • Files to Transactions Cross-Reference (Details)

  • Baseline Transaction and File List

  • Baseline Function Point Summary

  • Use Case Summary

  • Use Case and Actor List

  • Transactions / Files Cross-Reference Matrix

Shortcuts to Recent Counts

A user can now open a Count directly from a Recent Counts shortcut or from an object embedded in a document or other repository. Can’t remember where the count was that you were working on yesterday? No problem. Want to open a count directly from your metrics repository? Just click on the object or icon. The WORKBENCH will start up and open the nominated count, ready for viewing or modification.

The folder of Recent Counts shortcuts will look something like this. The shortcut files have the suffix ".fpwsc".

Seamless Integration with Q/P Management Group's Software Management Reporting (SMR)

Projects sized in the WORKBENCH can now quickly and easily participate in benchmark reporting. When a project is completed, the relevant counts for the project are passed into Q/P Management Group’s Software Management Reporting (SMR) tool, where they can be combined with the project’s effort, schedule and cost data. The SMR module then delivers project benchmark reports instantly as Word documents and other formats.

This level of integration means that everyone everywhere has the ability to record project size at project milestones and benchmark performance comparisons in one single painless process.

To find out more about Q/P Management Group's SMR tool and to view on online demo, click here.

Windows 7 Compliance

Function Point WORKBENCH™ Release 7.0 is now also fully Windows 7 compliant. It continues to support Windows XP and Windows Vista.

RSS Feed for News and Tips

An RSS feed has been added so that you can easily keep up to date with News and Tips for the Function Point WORKBENCH™. This feed is accessed via the icon in the menu bar.

 

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