This paper is a summary of a survey carried out on behalf of the Systems Engineering Research Centre (SERC). This survey was part of the Engineering Applications Software research programme. It covers the software quality assurance tools available and their use and application, in support of software quality, within the engineering research community.
There are hundreds of tools, many of which are methodology dependent, now available to support different phases of software development and they can be considered to contribute, to some degree, to software quality. There is also a class of tools which directly supports the Quality Assurance function and which is applicable, in most cases, irrespective of the development methods. There are the tools for validation, verification and testing of software systems. It is this class of tools that is covered in this paper.
The survey investigated the different tools that are available, their cost, effectiveness and the learning effort required to use them. Furthermore, it considered their use in the engineering environment and the benefits that can be gained as a result.