Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Bertolino A., Carlesi C., Fusani M. Software certification. The case of italian government controlled fiscal meters. In: Quality Week 1989 (San Francisco, CA, 16-19 May 1989). Proceedings, p. Aa-1. Software Research, 1989.
Software certification is commonly intended as a written guarantee that a software product complies with its specification. Instead, because of the limits of current inspection and testing techniques, by certificate the authors prefer to define only a written statement that specified analyses have been performed on the certified product/process. A short survey of possible scenarios for product and process certification is given, through an indication of the most meaningful parameters. Criteria which can be useful in the definition of a suitable certification methodology have been derived from this survey. We then illustrate our own real-world experience in external software validation, presenting some technical details on Fiscal Meters. Some specific problems in fiscal software certification are also discussed: the main challenge is to find a strategy which manages not only to cope with technical difficulties, but also to satisfy legal requirements and economic factors. The methodology which we propose is described: the leading criteria adopted are traceability and standardization. We are working hard on replacing a previous emergency solution, based on lengthy, manufacturer-assisted analyses. Our enemies are both technical problems and bureaucratic inertia.

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