Especially in open source software projects, quality assurance plays an essential role, since many – often unexpected – risks and errors occur. In order to prevent them three main components need to be considered, when choosing an open source software provider.
Quality through concepts
A software with clear and defined concepts should be the base of the quality assurance. To bring the project to a successful path right from the start, a document reflecting your requirements in detail should be provided by the software firm. This is necessary to eliminate ambiguities before the project starts and therefore to prevent very costly and unnecessary work. The detailed description of the proposed reactions simultaneously represents the documentation for your system and gives you an overview of all the functions included in the project.
The hereby resulting concept is based on the solid basis for quality control in your project. This leads to a predictable and manageable development process. If such a concept does not exist, it is not possible for you to assess the current state of development and to check the correct implementation of the services.
Quality through tests
A sincere and reliable software provider tests every new feature on a regular base to find and reduce probable errors. Having a software with a high error occurence rate signifies that the provider didn´t invest much in testing. He confronts you with problems or errors that could have easily been prevented by testing and is hence not worth the money one is paying for the project. As a result, testing has to be demanded in advance, particularly before signing the contract of a fixed project. Furthermore, testing has to be proved with test documentations.
Quality through standardized processes
The final component of quality assurance in software projects are standardized processes. Standardized processes rely on a base of experience and hence refer to the best practices of a firm. As a client, these standardized processes can be scrutinized, since they are sometimes not adaptable to each project. If they are applicable though, they are a good base for the project success, because they are well-proven.