Guide to software engineering standards and specifications. Magee and Tripp. Artech (0171 973 8077). 327 pages hardback, ISBN 0 89 0069190. £56.
Over 1.5 million people are estimated to be engaged in software engineering worldwide. Key to producing high quality software at a reasonable cost is a set of best practices for each profession.
However, the software engineering process standards field is unregulated and uncoordinated, with many sector related standards.
It is estimated that less than 1,000 people worldwide are actively involved in the development of standards and most of these are volunteers. Some of these organisations are huge, such as the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) others are small and sector specific.
Around 55 organisations have produced over 300 documents in this field, and this book contains abstracts on 315 standards, guides and technical reports on software engineering.
For an American publication, it is surprising that only one of ISA’s standards is mentioned (S5.3), ignoring S88 batch and S84 safety. It also avoids IEC1508. However, it does list a single page extract of 315 relevant standards which includes the formal title, scope, issuing date and organisation, process category, page length, originating committee and body and US purchasing source.
Some standards bodies covered include ANSI, ASME, ASTM,, BSI, DEF, FDA, IEE, IEEE, ISO, NASA, NIST and UL to name just a selection of some of the ones covered in C&I.
As a reference book, it is useful, if very incomplete for European organisations. Perhaps a revision planned will change this.