Net Neutrality Threatened by Trump Administration

Tom Wheeler, the former chair of the FCC, used his final speech before stepping down to warn businesses and consumers that their choice of cloud services and business applications could be severely limited if the incoming administration strikes down the 2015 open internet order that he and his group put in place. This order positioned the FCC’s net neutrality regulation that prevents Internet Service Providers from slowing or blocking traffic on their networks. This gives all traffic equal opportunity and speed and prevents network favoritism.

Wheeler also showed concern for the Internet of Things, an area of economic growth that is quickly becoming top of mind to many businesses and policy makers in Washington.

“[T]he growth of the internet of things is another area that depends on the open connectivity of those things,” Wheeler said. “If ISPs can decide arbitrarily which IoT device can be connected, or favor their own IoT activity over their competitors, the bright future of IoT dims.” Wheeler continued, “As everything goes into the cloud, the ability to access the cloud free of gatekeepers is essential. If ISPs get to choose which applications and clouds work better than others in terms of access, speed and latency, they will control the cloud future,”.

Wheeler’s position may not be a surprise now but given his past as a lobbyist for the cable and wireless sector his support of net neutrality may come as a shock.

Bill Wilson, a consultant for Broadband Landing, said, “Wheeler may be underplaying the seriousness of the situation. Net Neutrality is the biggest deal that no one really understands. If consumers and small businesses actually realized what the internet would look like after it was bought and sold by large corporations that was be worried. This would be all that was being talked about.”

Wheeler has the same question many businesses do, namely will Trump dismantle a policy that is clearly working? With republicans openly opposed to net neutrality things do seem dire for the policy.

Wheeler’s speech not only acts as a warning to the incoming administration but also clearly attempts to widen the scope of the net neutrality debate as a whole. Consumer impact of the open internet order is almost always the lead in any discussion of net neutrality but here Wheeler’s focus was on the danger to businesses and their increasing use of cloud computing. Interruption or the slowing of these services is a bit more destructive than a video playing slow. Businesses might be required to completely change back office management systems. A company like Salesforce.com could have their customer base divided between users that have an ISP that allows their traffic and ISP’s that won’t. Situations of this type could be repeated across many business services. If AT&T buys a firm that provides CMS to sales and marketing groups, it is not unthinkable that they would show preference to this firm over others.

Wheeler specifically calls out Verizon and AT&T for the “zero rating” programs that give some companies free access by not charging customers for the data they use. While this isn’t the feared “Fast Lane” net neutrality has been trying to avoid, it may actually be worse.

Wheeler finished his speech with, “It now falls to a new set of regulators, to a new FCC and to those who advocate before it and the Congress to determine the road that they want to take from here,” Wheeler said. “We are at a fork in that road. One path leads forward and the other leads back to relitigating solutions that are demonstrably working.”

While the fork in the road analogy fits, it’s actually a bit more drastic than Wheeler makes it seem. One road leads forward and the other leads back a decade and then off a cliff into a hole filled with alligators.

Creating a Computer Lab Floor Plan

Setting up a test lab is the best way to test your hardware and software before rolling it out to your end users. Testing everything you plan to deploy ahead of time will save your company and your computer technicians a great deal of time and hassle, but it is important to put some planning into the design of the computer lab.

Computer LabThings Needed

  • Tables
  • Shelves
  • Network connections
  • Computers
  • Monitors
  • Keyboards and mice
  • Network cables

Measure the room you plan to use as your computer lab. It is important to know how much space you will have to work with before you get started. As you examine the room look around to see how many electrical outlets and network connections you have available. The number and location of these power and network connections will help you determine where to place your computers, monitors and other equipment.

Sketch out the design of the room using a tablet or a piece of design software. Sketch out where you want the tables on which the computers will sit. Also sketch out the space for the shelving units and storage cabinets you will need for holding extra computer equipment.

Place the tables around the room according to the location of the network connections and power outlets. In many room designs the power outlets and the network connections will be located around the perimeter of the room. In that case it would be smart to arrange the tables around the edges of the room. Before putting the tables into place be sure to first connect power cords and network cables, then run those cords and cables up over the top of the tables. That will make it a lot easier to connect the PCs and monitors when you are ready to stock the lab.

Place the shelving units in a space where there are no power outlets or network connections. This will help you make more efficient use of space and give you more room to work if you need to add additional computers down the line.

Place the computers you plan to use on the tables, connecting the power cords and network cables as you go. When choosing computers for your test lab it is important to use the same equipment your users do — this will more fully recreate the production environment and allow you to catch any potential problems early.

Wondering What Copper is Worth Now

I got to thinking about this after something happened to this guy that I work with. He went out of the country on vacation and he was gone for over a week. When he got home he turned the lights on, but nothing happened. He realized pretty soon that there was no sound coming from his refrigerator. It took him a little while to realize that someone had crawled under his house and stolen the copper wire. I wonder how much is copper per pound, because my understanding was that the price of the stuff had gone down a good deal. Of course the cost of scrap metal is related to the global economic activity. If people are building a lot of autos and a lot of homes, then the price is going to rise. Conversely if people are not doing stuff like that, then the price of metals like aluminum and copper will go down. Continue reading →

The Critical Path Method (CPM) Example

Using an activity breakdown and assigning durations and dependencies for those activities leads to the Critical Path Method (CPM) of effort estimation. “Critical path analysis of a project schedule tells us who must wait for what as the project is being developed. It also tells us which activities must be completed on schedule to avoid delay” (Pfleeger and Atlee, 2006, p. 91).

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The steps of the CPM of project planning are as follows:

1. Specify the individual activities.

2. Determine the sequence of those activities.

3. Draw a network diagram.

4. Estimate the completion time of each activity.

5. Identify the critical path (longest path through the network)

6. Update the CPM diagram as the project progresses.

(NetMBA.com, 2007)

Following the steps of CPM development will lead to a diagram similar to that of Figure 1: CPM Diagram as follows:
Figure 1: CPM Diagram
Figure 1: CPM Diagram

Case Study: Using CPM or PERT in time planning & control
For over three decades, I worked for a development bank. My main job was to evaluate proposals for setting up of industrial projects initially as an Officer and later as Head of the Division. I have many…
Critical Path Analysis (CPA) in Microsoft Project
The critical path in Microsoft Project is often mis-interpreted. The critical path identifies the tasks that have a direct impact on the finish date of the project, otherwise known to have no slack. It has…

This figure illustrates that the critical path for the example project is A=>C=>F and that the projected project completion time is 7 weeks. The critical path and the project completion time are determined by adding the durations of each of the nodes in the diagram. Expert judgment determines the length of each of the activities so, “the accuracy of the prediction is based on the competence, experience, objectivity, and perception of the estimator” (Pfleeger and Atlee, 2006, p. 106). There is no room for error along the critical path because any delay there will cause late delivery of the entire project.

Effective project management requires a reliable method to determine completion times for deliverables or milestones. The CPM is one method for predicting those times without which, project management’s schedules may be highly erroneous. The main advantage of the CPM is the time analysis of dependent activities and the project as a whole. The disadvantage is the reliance on expert judgment to determine the durations of individual activities.

When used in a traditional, waterfall, methodology of system development the CPM is not the best method of effort prediction because each activity leads to the next so all activities are essentially located on the critical path. Agile methods benefit most by the CPM because many activities run in parallel when using an Agile methodology, although the CPM diagram may need modification to account for the many feedback loops. In these instances the CPM helps identify activities that may require more resources to meet the deadlines for deliverables. This would include COTS applications where many copies of the same release will be distributed.

Reviews on Vacation Rental Reservation Software for your Property Management Company

Today marks another day in the never ending quest to find the perfect online reservation software for my Vacation Rental Management Company, Shore Dreams Vacation Rentals. Don’t get me wrong, my existing system has supported our business for the last seven years and has managed over 3500 reservations including backend management of our rental units. However, with every relationship, there is the enduring qualities and the ones in which you wish you could change, but know you can’t. And there in lies my quest for the “next bigger, brighter and more robust online reservation system.”

Before I go on and on and on, a little background on me. I am a college graduate with a BA in Radio-TV and a MS in Sports Administration, so I can manage things pretty well. I also received a AAS in Computer Data Processing, so I know my way around a computer and feel I have a leg up on evaluating various systems. I’ve had a 25 year career in Television, Sports and Music promotion so I feel my marketing skills are decent. I have owned long term and vacation rental property for over 20 years and that is how I ended up writing this article.

Back to running a vacation rental company…

When I began this journey (I feel like I should be handing somebody a rose soon!), I made a list of what were extremely important features necessary or important enough for me to “switch” to a new Online Reservation System, besides the obvious.

1) Hosted Website so that all links are your domainname.com/reservations for example

2) Easy to use Online and Web Booking Engine with Owner Booking Capabilities

3) Online Payment and QuickBook Integration

4) Auto Inquiry Response Feature

5) Damage Deposit Insurance and Travel Insurance Features

6) Housekeeping Login Portal

7) Vendor and Housekeeping Management and Invoicing Feature

8) Auto Guest Email and Booking Notifications

9) Enhanced Search Engine Optimization and Marketing Capabilities

10) Easy Data Entry and Unit Rate/Information Duplication

11) Website Control via WordPress or other updating systems

12) State/County Tax Computations

13) Flexible Options in Booking Engine

14) Great support and quick followup with Issues

15) Continuous updates and additional features

16) Online Rental Agreement Approval

17) Online Promotional Code Options

And many more…Well, guess what? THE PERFECT ONLINE RESERVATION SYSTEM DOES NOT EXIST! So, I will begin to review the Systems I have tried (some beta; some free trials; and some purchased, used and discontinued!) and give you the pros and cons. I will also give you some tips on why a particular System may not be ready for PRIME BOOKING TIME at the moment, but maybe in the future. At the end of my journey, I will let you know which software I decide to choose. I will also continue to provide some different tips and options that may make your quest for the best operational System easier.

A few things to remember…

1) 85% of the booking inquiries are from By Owner Websites or phone calls

2) 25% are online bookings directly from the website.

3) If you can send your booking inquiries directly to your website that increases your online bookings.

The reason this is important, is that most Online Reservation Systems operate on the premise that everyone goes to the website and books online. That is great if you are Hilton Hotels or Resortquest, but not a boutique management company. Regardless, the process for us is pretty much how I outlined it above.

Now on to what I DON’T WANT….

1) Promises, promises before I purchase

2) The flashy online booking presentation with limited functional management portals

3) No online booking capability

4) No quote feature and hard to find availability calendars when doing a phone/inquiry booking

5) Bright colors that look like an endless website promoting the next best networking marketing program

6) More work for us more money from us

7) Support that tells you one thing one day and another thing another day

8) Upgrades that improve the functionality of one feature while disrupting the functionality of another.

9) Duplication of efforts such as not having templates for pricing of similar and multiple units.

Now that you have a good idea of what I am looking for, please send me your free trials, beta trials, mega trials and I will try them out. If you have new technology for the smaller companies 1-10 units, send them too. Meanwhile, I will revisit the systems I have tried over the last two years, allow them to “wow” me with some of their new features and hopefully give you and them some constructive feedback.

There are more than a few roses to give out at this part of the journey and who knows you may just get that final rose and our business!

Check out this interesting 2013 survey by VRM Intel Technology Survey regarding trends and challenges for Vacation Rental Managers.

So we decided to try LiveRez after being with RentOne Online and a brief foray with Bookt and Instamanager.

The Pros & Cons so far:

Good website and great SEO (search engine optimization)
Website is customizable to a point and is easy to navigate.
Good back end housekeeping and maintenance portals. (my cleaning teams’ really like the system) They are a bit confusing at first and I think an online tutorial would help train housekeepers.
Great owner login and owner statement capabilities, (except for no partial payment system for longterm rentals or snowbirds yet.)
Owner bookings for guests of owners does not flow through to the reservation system. What is the point then? Scratching my head again…
Special and Discount abilities with promo codes!
Great customized automatic email of instructions and payment reminders. However, you have to do HTML for driving directions and unit specific information. I know HTML, most folks don’t.
The travel insurance feature with CSA Travel Protection provides a great incentive for vacation rental managers and is easy to use and pay for. I am still waiting to see how the claim process works. Update: It works great, if you have the receipts.
The pricing and date range system needs an overhaul and does not provide for copying templates to multiple units. Update: This part is so yesterday. I want to duct tape my head when I have to update or create date ranges and prices. PLEASE DO SOMETHING!
The Quickbooks feature works great if you set it up according to the LiveRez PDF. They suggest a Quickbooks Pro Advisor, but I think they forget to tell the Quickbooks Pro Advisor that an upgrade totally changes the way the accounting system works for the property manager.

More later…

I am convinced that for search engine optimization your site and domain should be consistent throughout your booking process. Many systems send your guests to an iframe or hosted site that takes them away from your domain.

DEMAND that your reservation system is hosted on your domain not theirs. It makes a HUGE difference in how potential guests find you…

Some cool updates from LiveRez:

They have added MyRevue, which is an online review system that is incorporated into the guest experience. It integrates with the website and allows the manager to get feedback as well as testimonials and reviews about the units and the property management company. The review is then posted your website with a rating. It would be perfect if we could respond to the review and email it to our management team, but I suppose that is coming soon.
The CRM system, (Customer Relationship Management) or automatic emails is really fantastic. I am not sure there is a better one out there. It is like having another staff member. They also have an auto response system, which I hope to get implemented in the next few months.

So as of now, I am a LiveRez fan and although not perfect, it is as perfect as can get right now and keeps on getting better…

—-Update—-

I did make a switch from LiveRez to Streamline. Although, I really like a lot of the features, it became bit cost prohibitive for my small company and I really wanted an easier Image processing option and some integration with Glad To Have You and VRBO. LiveRez is a great company and I wish them much success in the future!

Update – A Year Later

It has been over a year since we switched to Streamline and its many “one stop shop” features. With a small staff, we were logging into eight different systems to accomplish what we could get done with one click into Streamline and one click into to Quickbooks Online. We were able to hire a couple more staff members with the amount of money we were saving by switching to Streamline!

The intuitive features are too numerous to list, however setting up units is a breeze, creating and managing the guest documents is actually fun. The Quickbooks Online sync solution with Streamline is seamless and our processing of owner statements and paying owners is very simple.

Furthermore, the sync with VRBO and other partners saves us having to update prices and calendars manually. The Housekeeping App is a favorite among our Cleaners and Inspectors as well.

Check out out our other Hubpage for a review of some of the other features we like about Streamline.

A Critical Appreciation of “Heart of Darkness”

Heart of Darkness is an enchanting novel, a marvelous and fascinating novel of first of its kind. It is a bewitching and haunting novel giving the thought-provoking ideas and at the same time realistic touches; it surpasses in external accomplishment embroidered by a great designer’ rich imagery and unsurpassable symbols. Dealing to its analysis of the mental processes of its characters and probing the conscious and unconscious work of the mind. Nevertheless, novel is compact, brief, written in language celebral, sensuous, vague, concrete, definitive, suggestive, elusive, mystical and tangible. It is an exquisite novel dovetailing fact of fiction’ our imagination never fails to recapture the events which may happen to us in this enchanting world narrated by Conrad in this par excellent novel. Sometimes is makes us instantaneously very gloomy, grim, somber and sordid as ideas are highly insidious horrible and supernatural.

An eminent critic Jim Reilly has summed up all the noble characteristics in the following passage: “Conrad’s agonizing Congo experiences of 1890 were re-worked nine years later into Heart of Darkness which is generally regarded as one of the greatest short novels in the English language. It is a crucial work in the development of modern literature, in that it establishes the dominant theme of twentieth-century writing: fear and disillusion about the western man’s place in the world and the values by which he lives, The narrator and central character, Marlow, travels up the Congo to meet the demonic trader Kurtz. He witnesses the violence and hypocrisy of his colonizing culture and his faith in the western world, and even his own sanity is threatened. T.S. Eliot indicated how influential he felt the novel to be when he used the paragraph ending in Kurtz’s famous summing up, “The horror! The horror!” in the epigraph to his great poem, The waste Land (1922). The degenerations of the trader, to whom all Europe contributed stands Eliot as a model of modern man in a world the poet sees, in a phrase that recalls th e trenches of World War I and the bone-strewn Congo of Heart of Darkness, as a “rats” alley where the dead men lost their bones.”
The Novel is Based on Few Historical Facts

The above mentioned comment of critic is worthy of praise and appreciation. In it, various facets of novel are incorporated. First noteworthy point is that autobiographical element in the Heart of Darkness. The story, narrated by Marlow in the noble, is the experience of Conrad’s own voyage to the dark continent of Congo in the year 1890. Thus this novel is replete with the personal touches of Conrad’s life. The narrator and the central figure of the novel Marlow is the mouthpiece of Joseph Conrad who represents the story of Conrad’s journey to Congo in the guise of his won.

This novel is highly authentic in its treatment of themes. It is a truthful account of the miserable condition of the black simple natives and savages of the Congo whom the white-men were exploiting to satisfy their selfish motives. This novel is also record of the behavior and the attitude of the white-men who went there in the dark continent of Africa as agent of a trading company, as traders, as explorers.

Thus the novel achieves special value because it is a documentary that is based on historical facts. At the same time this novel is most interesting fascinating and gripping which a work of fiction is expected to be.
The Various Themes of the Novel

As it is already mentioned that the theme of the novel is imperialism. The novel deals with the conditions prevailing in the Congo under Belgian king’s imperialist rule. The essence of the story lies in the life of civilized European Mr. Kurtz who gradually identifies himself with the savagery due to his prolonged stay in the darkness of Africa. Besides, this novel is attributed with other themes also. They are: theme of evil, theme of isolation, them of self-restraint, them of the exploration of the subconscious of the human mind and the theme of the appearance and reality. The themes are so skillfully intermixed the novel that unified artistic design emerges out of it.
Symbolical Significances of the “Heart of Darkness”

The novel Heart of Darkness is an excellent example of the symbolical suggestions in novel. From the very title till the end almost every character and event is highly symbolical. Literally, the title Heart of Darkness means the unexplored dark continent of Africa (Congo) but its symbolical meaning is the depths of human mind that subconscious. Thus this novel deals with the journey into the dark places of human mind also. The two knitting-women represent the fate of ancient classical mythology; Mr. Kurtz is the symbol used for the modern western man’s lust for power and greed. Marlow is symbolical of the writer having a penetrating insight into the sub-conscious; of the contemporary interest in psychology and psychiatry and also the apirit of adventure and love of knowledge. For detail see in Part III, question related to the symbolical elements in Heart of Darkness.
Conrad’s art of Characterization

Marlow and MR. Kurtz

For the capacity of creating life-like characters Conrad occupies a high rank among the modern English novelist. While reading the novel we feel the characters like Marlow and Mr. Kurtz so close and intimate to us as we ourselves have encountered them in our life. Marlow’s narration is so live and vital; his characteristic of being a philosopher, psychologist and a keen observer make us able to travel along with him. The most striking characteristics of Mr. Kurtz are his passion for ivory, his power over the savages, his eloquence in speech and foremost his obsession for ivory, his cruelty and transformation into savage etc. Thus characters are presented so vividly and interestingly that they seem as alive and very normal being as we meet in out daily lives.

The minor Characters of the Novel: “Heart of Darkness”

“Heart of Darkness Contains several vignettes of persons, there are multiple types of characters in this novel. Marlow’s narration is so full of life that it seems we’ve really met an accountant flawlessly dressed, or a hollow and barren man like Manager of the Central Station. The Russian is drawn in most vivid and convincing manner, as highly educated, intelligent, and a devotees to Mr. Kurtz. Last but not the least Mr. Kurtz’s fiancée. When Marlow goes to meet her, all her reactions, overflowing emotions, tears, vibration of lips are seen by us. We feel as if we’ve shared her feelings on that occasion.
Imagery

Though the imagery used in Heart of Darkness is remote and wild yet its vivid, graphical presentation able us to visualize. First of all, there is the image of nature and surrounding that Marlow perceives along the coast as he sails by a French steamer. The ever memorable sights are of the boiler lying uselessly in the grass, reversal pieces of destroyed machinery, rusty rails, useless blasting of the rock, pathetic sight of six chained men etc. These all sights make Marlow feel that he has entered the Inferno. Here we are reminded of the picture of hell given in The Divine Comedy by Dante. It includes the picture of starving and dying people.
The profundity of Thought in “Heart of Darkness”

Heart of Darkness is replete with many philosophical passages. Marlow is not only a narrator, adventurer and man of action but he is also a profound thinker meditating over whatever he observes. In the very beginning when he was setting out for sail, here marks that he felt for a short while that instead of going to the centre of the continent he was going to the centre of earth. But more philosophical remark is given by him when he found it difficult to differ reality and dream. When Marlow was listening to Brick maker’s information’s regarding Kurtz, it seems to him that he is seeing a dream. Here he says, “It is impossible to convey the life sensation of any given epoch of one’s existence- that which makes its truth, its meaning, the subtle and penetrating essence. It is impossible. We live, as we dream–alone”. Another passage in the context of philosophical view, that is regarded as the key passage of book is:

The mind of man is capable of anything—because everything is in it, all the past as well as all the future. What was there after all ? Joy, fear sorrow, devotion, valour, rage—who can tell?—but truth—truth tripped of its cloak time. Let the fool gape and shudder—the man knows, and can look on without a wink. But he must at least be as much of a man as these on the shore. He must meet that truth with his one-true stuff—with his own inborn strength. Principles won’t do. Acquisitions, clothes, pretty rags—rags that would fly off at the first good shake. No: you want a deliberate belief.
Psychological Study of the Character

Marlow has a great penetrating insight into the human mind. He has well analyzed the character he encountered, psychologically. In spite of giving the picture of their outward appearances he peeps into their mind and reveals them from within. For example, he says that the manager of the Central Station is worth of nothing. He does not inspire either love, respect, late or fear except uneasiness. He finds “nothing within this man”. This Brickmaker is remarked by Marlow as “papier mache Mephistopheles” because of his cunningness and mischief. In fact, we form a comprehensive picture of Mr. Kurtz through Marlow’s narration only. Kurtz’s obsession for ivory, his love “Intended”, his cruelty, his of power, his devil image and finally Mr. Kurtz as a repentant sinner are seen by us only through Marlow elaborate and deep study of his character.
Traditional and Modern Element are Interwoven in this Novel

The company’s doctor, who examines Marlow before setting out for sail, is very much a modern man who is interested in analyzing the changes of minds of explorers. Both Psychology and Psychiatry are modern sciences which were becoming the regular sciences in the contemporary time. Marlow himself shows much interest in the psychological study of character’s mind. Moreover, he says he himself is becoming a fit subject for the psychologist to study his mind. Besides, Marlow feels the futility and anarchy of modern life. Mr. Kurtz’s transformation into the devils caused just on account of the influence of darkness, and his high sounding dialogue now become divorced from reality. Side by side, the story of Heart of Darkness is read as myth also. The pictures of two ominous women knitting with black wool are suggestive fate that determines the destiny of man in this world. Marlow’s voyage to the darkness of Congo much resembles Dente’s Inferno. Thus, this novel is both a modern as well as a traditional in its mode of narration and content.
The Structure of “Heart of Darkness”

The structure of this novel is very complex because, first, we find two narrators. The first narrator tells us about Marlow and when Marlow starts to speak he vecomes the listener but at intervals when Marlow stops to take long breath or to brood he speaks again. Though most of the story narrated by Marlow yet the first narrator intervenes occasionally. It puzzles the reader. Second complexity derives from the shifts in time. Marlow, in the course of speaking, suddenly begins to speak of as incident about which he would know later on in future and thus breaks the sequence. For example when Marlow was narrating circumstances under which the Captain of a Belgian Trading ship met his end in Congo, he suddenly informs us about his unstarted journey to the Congo. Finally, even the division of the novel is arbitrary. There is no plane in designing the three chapters. Each have abrupt end thus Heart of Darkness ca not claim to be an organized whole.

Anti Spam Software, A Necessity In The Activity Of Modern Corporations

A large number of companies have experimented different tools for removing unwanted e-mail both on their employees, and on their own network, consuming a great deal of time and resources. Recent studies have discovered that few companies do not have special anti spam programs. They must urgently invest in such software or they will suffer the consequences of receiving a large number of unwanted e-mail.

What happens usually in the cases where such protection software turns into a matter of negligence? Well, as a rule, their employees risk the unpleasant situation of having their mailbox filled with undesired mail. Approximately 50%of the total e-mails received are spam, and this number is increasing.

Anti-spam software producers have worked hard in order to improve different programs that act as a spam filter. From software installed on the e-mail server to gateway applications and outsourcing services, the anti spam program producers promote their products. Obviously, such programs aim at preventing unwanted e-mail from invading our account.

Companies specialized in other areas, such as antivirus protection, content filter or multifunctional applications are waiting to become a “one stop provider” for the security necessities of the messages. This is why the anti spam market has become a flourishing area of products and technologies. The greater the amount and quality of these products, the greater is the protection from which we, as constant Internet users, can benefit on a regular basis. In any case, one thing is certain: no one likes to sign in and find his or her account crowded with a whole bunch of uncalled-for mail.

The job of a spam filter is do redirect all e-mail received by a company to its own data centers, where a number of technicians give their best to put under quarantine unwanted mail messages. The providers of such spam filter have customized their filters in order to be more sensitive to “false truths” and in order to stop this invasion of unwanted e-mail. Indeed, there is such an invasion. Fortunately enough, experts have developed advanced possibilities of counteracting it.

A gateway anti spam software requires installation on the company’s mail server in order to act as a spam filter for incoming messages. These products usually offer other options in order to keep themselves spam-free, including quarantine areas for final users. Many of these products also offer white lists and black lists that teach users how to block spam and, consequently, how to avoid any unfortunate circumstances that could generate a most unwanted blockage of their accounts.

These kinds of applications need installation in the company’s gateway in order to detect spam in real time, i.e. before it reaches the network. These applications offer the same quality in anti spam protection both for companies and for final users. Overall, anti spam applications are becoming easier to install and to set in action due to their minimal configuration.

Many security applications providers have introduced in their own portfolio products to protect them against spam (hardware and software), as well as a great number of multifunctional devices that act as a firewall, but also antivirus filters that act as a spam filter. In this manner, the regular activities going on online and through e-mail will not suffer pointless interruptions because of spamming.

10 Multiple Choice Practice Questions Certification Mcsa Microsoft Exam: 70-291

Implementing, Managing and Maintaining a Server 2003 Network Infrastructure

After you study your text books it is important to test your newly acquired knowledge and see just how well you have absorbed the material. Practice exams….

* Reinforces what you learnt – fill in the gaps of what you missed
* Gets you used to answering questions to build confidence and familiarity

Here are 10 Multiple choice exams questions for you to practice on:

______________________________

Question 1# – You had sometime back implemented a RAS server for receiving requests from the dial-in connections. Lately you have been receiving complaints that some connections are getting rejected for no reason and connections are very slow. You implement another RAS server but this does not help the situation to a great extent although the number of complaints have reduced by 25%.

What should you do?

A. Implement 2 RAS s servers instead of just one

B. Since the complaints have reduce 25% with addition of one RAS server you need 4 servers totally to reduce complaint by 100%

C. Implement a RADIUS server that takes over the responsibility of authentication from the RAS server

D. Implement IIS server

_____________________

Question 2# – You are on the SOA (Start Of Authority) tab of the DNS server DNS1 on which you wish to configure the zone transfer with another DNS server DNS2 every once in 8 hours. Which of the following options will help you configure the DNS zone transfer between the two servers?

A. Refresh Interval
B. Retry Attempts
C. Retry Interval
D. Expiration

_____________________

Question 3# – When pushing software updates to all the clients on the network from a designated server, which of the following settings on the GPO needs to configured?

A. Audit Object Access settings
B. Specify intranet Microsoft update service location
C. Specify internet Microsoft update service location
D. Automatic Update settings

_____________________

Question 4# – You have just created some DNS zones in your network. So far you just had one Primary DNS and one Secondary DNS. The replication was very smooth and trouble free. You now wish that zone transfer and updates on the network happen equally smooth after the zones have been created.

What should you do?

A. Ensure that the zones are all Active Directory integrated

B. Ensure all the DNS servers are running on the Domain controllers

C. Ensure all DNS servers are running on member servers

D. Avoid using zones

_____________________

Question 5# – You are required to change some setting that have been set by the previous administrator for the IPSec policies. Which of the following would you use to manage this?

A. IP Security Monitor Console
B. Microsoft Management Console
C. Network Monitor utility
D. IPSec utility

_____________________

Question 6# – You are required to apply certain security update changes based on the already existing ones in your network. Which of the following would you use to analyze what exists and what needs to be applied?

A. Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer
B. IP Security Monitor Console
C. Network Monitor
D. Baseline setting of the relevant GPO

_____________________

Question 7# – You wish to keep your DNS server database up-to-date and free of unnecessary records. Which of the following options will help you to maintain the DNS database as desired?

A. Tombstone
B. Aging and scavenging
C. DDNS
D. Secure updates

_____________________

Question 8# – Your network consists of a single domain with one DNS Windows Server 2003. The DNS server hosts a standard primary zone. Users report that the response time for the network seems slow. Using Network Monitor to examine the network traffic, you find that an abnormal amount of traffic is passing between the DNS server and DNS clients.

Which tool would best help you ascertain the cause of excess traffic?

A. System Monitor
B. Event Viewer
C. Tracert
D. Security Monitor

_____________________

Question 9# – You are in the process of expanding the Remote access network as your company is fast acquiring smaller companies across the world.

The company’s written policy states that all Remote Access Servers must have the same security policy settings. Whenever any amendments will be made to these policies written or otherwise will have to be reflected on all the servers at one go to ensure that the administrative time for the said task is kept to the minimum. What should you do?

A. Use RADIUS
B. Use RRAS
C. Use IIS
D. Use Certificate Servers

_____________________

Question 10# – You need to configure updates for your network. Your network consists of 100 Windows Server 2003 DCs and 48 Windows 2003 member servers. There are about 2500 clients. Which of the following would be an ideal and efficient method for implementing an automated process of software updates?

Each choice statement presents a part of the solution. Choose two statements to arrive at a complete solution

A. Configure Software Update Service (SUS) along with Group Policy Objects (GPO).

B. Configure Automatic Updates on all Domain Controllers and clients

C. Configure Automatic Update on the Root DC and ensure the rest do not connect to the Internet at all

D. Ensure only the critical DCs connect to the Microsoft site for Updates and a designated server pushes the update to the rest of the computers on the network

_____________________

ANSWERS

Question 1# – Correct Answers: C
Question 2# – Correct Answers: A
Question 3# – Correct Answers: B
Question 4# – Correct Answers: A
Question 5# – Correct Answers: A
Question 6# – Correct Answers: A
Question 7# – Correct Answers: B
Question 8# – Correct Answers: A
Question 9# – Correct Answers: A
Question 10# – Correct Answers: A,D

Tips To Solve Outlook Express Error 0x800c133

Outlook Express is a widely accepted e-mail client and serves as the perfect business e-mailing solution. The application creates a separate *.dbx file for each of the folders that you see in the list, for example Inbox.dbx. So unlike MS Outlook, during file corruption, the symptoms is reflected in only the associated folder and not the entire e-mail store. Outlook Inbox is one of the critical folders that holds important incoming e-mails. Thus if the folder gets corrupted, you require a perfect Outlook Express Repair solution or need to restore the e-mails from the last backup.

An Outlook Express Inbox can get corrupt for several reasons. In such situations, it prompts errors while losing the capability to receive more e-mails. One of the common occurring error messages is ‘Unknown Error’ with error code ‘0x800c133’. You may also observe that some of the e-mails suddenly start disappearing from the Inbox.

Solution

If you receive error ”0x800c133′, restart the computer and try to duplicate the problematic behavior. If the issue persists, you should rename the corrupted Inbox.dbx file and restart Outlook Express. To do so, follow the steps mentioned underneath:

1)Click ‘Tools’ | ‘Options’ and then the ‘Maintenance’ tab
2)Click ‘Store Folder’ and copy or note the location of Outlook Express store folder
3)Close Outlook Express
4)Click ‘Start’ and then ‘Run’ and paste the location that you copied above. Alternatively, you can directly browse to the noted location. This will display the complete store of *.dbx files.
5)Select the file named ‘Inbox.dbx’ and right-click above it
6)Click ‘Rename’ and type OldInbox.dbx.
7)Start Outlook Express to create a new and error-free Inbox

To restore e-mails from corrupted Inbox, use your last backup or try to copy the e-mails from the Old Inbox (if possible). However, in case, none of these operations is feasible, use a third-party Outlook Express Repair Tool. These are easy to use and safe applications that repair and restore corrupted *.dbx files. The Outlook Express Repair software use powerful scanning algorithms to fix OE folder corruption.

Stellar Phoenix Outlook Express Recovery is an advanced utility that repairs corrupted *.dbx files and restores them as *.dbx and *.eml files. The Outlook Express Repair Tool supports Outlook Express 5.x and 6.x. With a user-friendly interface, the software is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2003, and 2000.

Community Innovation – Crowd Sourcing in Software Testing

Many hands make software work

The stakes for Microsoft, which was outlining its Office 2010 product strategy, were extremely high. According to Microsoft’s earnings statements, Microsoft Office productivity suite generates more revenue than any other business division, says Gregg Keizer,who covers Microsoft and general technology news for Computerworld.

Months before Microsoft released Office 2010 productivity suite, 9 million people downloaded the beta version to test the software and to provide feedback. Through this program, Microsoft collected 2 million valuable comments and insights from those testers.

Denise Carlevato, a Microsoft usability engineer for 10 years, and her colleagues from Microsoft’s Virtual Research Lab observed how people used new features. Their objective was to make Microsoft Office fit the way millions of people used their product and to help them work better. It was a massive, controlled crowd sourcing project.

According to Carlevato, “That’s just what you have to do to cater to as broad an audience as possible”. This is not especially easy; to retain the loyalty of millions is a herculean task. “While the team was building it and giving insights and information, it was still all like a big jigsaw puzzle. Toward the end when this all came together I had the opportunity to go out and see how the web apps were actually going to live with real people.”

The scenario

Developing a new software product is always exciting, especially to watch ideas take form and truly become a reality. Sometimes a fresh perspective or an innovative use case is all it takes to turn a product from good to great. However, when it comes to testing, we often find ourselves in unchartered waters wondering if the product will actually work in the diverse customer landscapes. It is virtually impossible to test the vast number of devices and configurations of software that web-based software can run on today. Truly robust testing is time consuming, and ensuring that every possible permutation and combination of features, localizations, and platforms works, as intended is nearly impossible.

Often times, comprehensive testing is a challenge and buggy code is delivered to the customer. For example, if a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application does not render in a particular browser or a critical software tool fails to deliver its intended functionality, a bug fix or a patch is promised and the vicious cycle starts all over again. Either way, the customer withstands the worst of inadequate testing, especially when faced with the escalating costs of software maintenance, performance, etc. For the software development company, ramifications include distress around brand image, perceived quality, relationship and potential future projects, trust, etc.

Welcome to the new world of crowd sourced testing, an emerging trend in software engineering that exploits the benefits, effectiveness, and efficiency of crowd sourcing and the cloud platform towards software quality assurance and control. With this new form of software testing, the product is put to test under diverse platforms, which makes it more representative, reliable, cost-effective, fast, and above all, bug-free.

Crowd sourced testing, conceived around a Testing-as-a-Service (TaaS) framework, helps companies reach out to a community to solve problems and remain innovative. When it comes to testing software applications, crowdsourcing helps companies reduce expenses, reduce time to market and increase resources for testing, manage a wide range of testing projects, test competence needs, exigency to resolve higher defects rates, and use 3rd party’s test environment to subside the project requirements.

It differs from traditional testing methods in that the testing is carried out by a number of different testers from across the globe, and not by locally hired consultants and professionals. In other words, crowd sourced testing is a form of outsourced software testing, a time-consuming activity, to testers around the world, thus enabling small startups to use ad-hoc quality-assurance teams, even though they themselves could not afford traditional quality assurance testing teams.

Why Does Crowd Sourced Testing Work?

To understand why crowd sourced testing works, it is important to understand the set of biases that infest most testers and test managers around the world. This phenomenon is called, “The Curse of Knowledge,” a phrase used in a 1989 paper in The Journal of Political Economy. It means that for a particular subject expert, it is nearly impossible to imagine and look beyond the knowledge the tester has acquired i.e. the set of concepts, beliefs and scenarios that the tester knows or predicts. As a result, it is particularly challenging to think outside the box and conceive the various ways a typical end user would use particular software.

This phenomenon has been empirically proven through an infamous experiment conducted by a Stanford University graduate student of psychology, Elizabeth Newton. She illustrated the phenomenon through a simple game, people were assigned to one of two roles, namely tappers and listeners. Each tapper was to select a well-known song, such as “Happy Birthday,” and tap the rhythm on a table. The listeners were to guess the song from the taps. However, before the listeners guessed the song, tappers were asked to predict the probability that listeners would guess correctly. They predicted 50%. Over the course of the experiment, 120 songs were tapped out, but listeners guessed only three of the songs correctly – a success rate of merely 2.5%

The explanation is as follows: when tappers tap, it is impossible for them to avoid hearing the tune playing along to their taps. Meanwhile, all the listeners could hear is a kind of bizarre Morse code. The problem is that once we know something, we find it impossible to imagine the other party not knowing it.

Extrapolating this experiment to software testing, most testers conduct a battery of tests that they feel is representative and that captures the set of end-user scenarios for how the software would be used. The reality is far from this. Any expert tester would asset that it is impossible to capture the complete set of scenarios that an end user may throw at a software system. As a result, critical path(s) of the code under certain scenarios go untested, which leads to software malfunctioning, production system crashes, customer escalations, long hours of meetings, debugging, etc.

Crowd sourced testing circumvents all these headaches by bringing a comprehensive set of code coverage mechanisms and end user scenarios during the design and development stages of software engineering, during which the cost of modification is meager. This results in identifying critical use cases early on and providing for those contingencies, which reduces software maintenance costs later on during and after productive deployment. Besides progressive code coverage, the quality and depth of software testing among various vital software modules is achieved, which ultimately results in a higher code quality, among other benefits.

Crowd sourced testing – the framework

At the heart of crowd sourced testing is the community that tests a given software product. The community encompasses people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, geographies, languages, all with a diverse approach to software usage. The community, represented by a diverse and extended user space, tests any given software by putting it to use under realistic scenarios, which a tester in the core test team may not be able to envision, given a tester’s constraints, such as limited bounds of operation, knowledge, scenarios. Thus, it is easy to observe the broad set of usage patterns that put the software under intense scrutiny. Crowd sourcing software testing draws its benefits from delegating the task of testing a web or software project, while in development, on to a number of Internet users, to ensure that the software contains no defects.

The method of crowd sourced testing is particularly useful when the software is user-centric, when software’s success and adoption is determined by its user feedback. It is frequently implemented with gaming or mobile applications, when experts who may be difficult to find in one place are required for specific testing, or when the company lacks the resources or time to carry out internal testing.

The spectrum of issues that such test efforts could uncover within a short lead-time is particularly noteworthy. Such testing efforts yield productive results with reasonable costs. Often times, the product company pays only for those valid reported bugs. Hence, the Return on Investment (ROI) is high compared to the traditional means of software testing.

How does it work?

Most crowd sourced testing companies provide the platform for the testing cycles. Clients specify the type of tests that they wish to have performed and the types of devices that the software product must be tested on.

Testers complete a profile, indicating the skills they have, the devices to which they have access to, and the countries where they reside. Once a tester has completed his profile, he/she can check the project dashboard for a listing of projects and releases that are available for testing. The dashboard may also include sample test scenarios, additional tools and scripts, instructions for testers about what is expected from them, etc. Usually, the testers are required to submit a QA plan, which outlines both high level test cases and detailed test scenarios. The plan may also include whether or not the test can be automated and expected results.

A qualified Project Manager, who is typically a proven community leader or a person from the client/the platform company, reviews such plans, and approves or amends such plans to cater to the client’s specific testing requirements.

Each project includes an explanation and access to a forum where bugs and issues are discussed and additional questions can be asked. Testers document bug reports and are rated based on the quality of their reports. The amount the testers earn increases as their rating increases.

The community combines aspects of collaboration and competition, as members work to finding solutions to the stated problem. Forums facilitate networking and discussion of bugs or relevant issues; rating systems allow for recognition of a job well done, which helps participants gain credibility and improved career.

The crowd source testing team is usually in addition to the organization’s testing team, and not a replacement.

Checks & Balances

Security is a crucial element to crowd source testing. More often than not, confidential customer information is exposed to testers during application testing. Any breach of this data can lead to serious damage, both to the brand and the business. Test data management ensures the availability and security of test data by obfuscating sensitive information for large-scale testing engagements. Masking such information or creating ‘test-only’ data helps maintain privacy and security while using crowd sourced testing services.

In almost all cases, the testers are required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) when they join the community. The NDA forbids them from talking about customers, their products or specific defects, both offline and online on Facebook, Twitter, personal blogs or anywhere outside the confines of the private testing platform. Beyond that, the customers can upload a customized NDA, which testers must sign before viewing the customer’s project. For projects that require a high level of security, a pre-screened list of white hat engineers, that have a long professional relationship with the platform company are selected.

Furthermore, standardized communication patterns help users secure their data and gain confidence in their testing vendors, which results in a seamless transition.

By combining an internal, permanent team of testers with a crowd of experienced software testers working from around the globe, superior quality in testing is delivered. By constantly filtering the network of testers to accept only experienced software testing professionals, applicants without formal training and significant professional experience are eliminated. This ensures the quality and the validity of the bugs reported. Last but not the least, tests are dispatched to individual testers based on their experience, available material, and languages mastered. The testers and test project exposure are continually monitored to ensure both quality and integrity, not only of the test results, but also of the associated environment.

Caveat emptor?

Crowd sourced testing is best when the product under development is consumer-centric rather than enterprise-centric, such as gaming or web driven consumer applications. A global user base to test the product should exist and the product should be relevant to the community at large. This is also a test for the application’s potential success in the marketplace.

Paul Herzlich, a software-testing analyst, who oversees crowd sourcing services at Ovum, an institution that provides its clients with independent and objective analyses stated, “If you are testing software that all kinds of strangers are going to use, then why not use a bunch of strangers to test it. Also, it depends on what kind of testing you need to do. For testing user interfaces, sure – it makes sense.”

There should also be an earnest interest from the community to proffer critical feedback for the product under consideration such as a monetary reward. This also brings forth another interesting challenge. The product company is not obliged to follow through on community’s recommendations and may dispense with the feedback for various internal reasons. In this case, the community may feel unheard and this mandates a fine balancing act of the entire ecosystem.

The product company should be committed to working with a large group of people and understand that it involves some degree of overhead in such a decentralized test effort. It also requires certain subject matter experts to mentor and monitor various testing efforts as well as offer support and relevant guidance to the testing teams. If the product team does not have the resources to take on full-fledged testing in-house, but has a good understanding of the testing requirements, it can realize its overall strategy from a globally sourced team.

With normal employment contracts, employees receive a salary for their contribution and the firm owns any intellectual property developed by the employee during their tenure with the organization. In a crowd-sourcing constellation, people are participating voluntarily. Unless the position on Intellectual Property (IP) is clear and explicitly stated, i.e. a condition of the right to participate is the acceptance of Intellectual Property transfers to the client, potential for IP infringement by the contributor exists.

A crowd sourced project requires skills and mastery in designing the compensation structure, both in monetary and non-monetary terms. The testers are usually paid a certain amount of money in the case of a successful bug/issue discovery. In some cases, the testers would prefer non-monetary aspects like recognition and personal satisfaction rather than monetary compensation. Thus, it is vital to understand the motivators prior to mission critical deployments.

In cases where participants are compensated on a per task basis, an incentive for participants to choose speed over accuracy exists. This is especially the case with especially micro tasks, which are susceptible to mistakes and could result in erroneous overall outcomes. Therefore, robust governance mechanisms need to be instilled, continually monitored and policies regularly updated to reflect the changing trends.

Advantages of crowd sourced testing:

Representative scenarios from the real user base, not hypothetical test cases
Tight feed-back loop with rapid feedback processing and agility
Comprehensiveness in use cases, platforms, tools, browsers, testers, etc. that is typically impossible to replicate by any single product company
Cost efficiency, as the product company pays only for the valid bugs reported
Diversity among the pool of testers lends to comprehensive testing, especially with regard to applications, which are localization based
Reduced time to test, time to market and total cost of ownership as critical paths of a software module are tested during design time, which leads to a reduced maintenance cost
Better productivity and improved product development focus

Disadvantages of crowd sourced testing:

Governance issues around security, exposure and confidentiality when offering a community project to wide user base for testing
Quality and workload challenges that arise from the unpredictable nature of customer demands
Project management challenges that stem from the users’ diverse backgrounds, languages and experience levels
Documentation issues, such as poor quality of bug reports, bug duplicates and false alarms
Equity and equality constraints in the reward mechanism with remuneration as a function of the quality of contributions that meets a prescribed minimum standard
Management overhead associated with managing an active and growing community

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7197127

What Do You Mean by Software Testing?

Today business can get all dimensions of efficiency when automation is in place and to do so more and more software products are getting deployed which promise to do the required automation. Software is being used in all verticals of the industry like banking, retail and manufacturing. The accuracy of the Automation comes from Accuracy of the software being used. The More quality the software is, the more quality the automation is and Software Testing is the Key to achieve a Quality Software.

Software Testing is a defined set of activities done in a planned way to judge the quality of the software or a software service. There are various way broadly classified as Manual and Automatic way the software testers do the task of software testing to ensure the quality of the software. The process is iterative in nature. After every set of test run performed on the software, the software is corrected to remove defects if exists. Once the corrections are made, the software again undergoes a new test run to find out if the existing defects are resolved and if there is any new defects inserted. There are various matrices in place to quantify the defects density and defect removal efficiency. This process continues until the software is made completely free of any defects and attains the desired level of quality.

Test or Quality Assurance uses different variety of testing approaches viz. unit, integration, functional, system, regression, load, stress, usability and acceptance testing. The user acceptance testing is the final testing done before a product is delivered to the business or end users.

A good Quality Assurance or testing system will provide measures on all aspects of the functionality that a product is expected to deliver. Any defect left undetected can cause huge amount of losses to a business. Hence, it becomes very important to how critical software testing is and how critical the role of a Tester is.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4083969

Practical Measurements For Software Testing

Every software development company focuses on developing quality software. The only way to track the software quality is evaluating it at every stage of its development. It requires some kind of metrics, which is obtained through effective testing methods. Each stage of software testing is effectively monitored for the software QA.

1. Software measurements are used for:

2. Deriving basis for estimates

3. Tracking project progress

4. Determining (relative) complexity

5. Understanding the stage of desired quality

6. Analyzing defects

7. Validating best practices experimentally

Here, some software testing metrics are proposed for black box testing that has real world applications. It discusses:

Importance of software testing measurement

Different techniques/processes for measuring software testing

Metrics for analyzing testing

Methods for measuring/computing the metrics

Advantages of implementing these metrics

These metrics helps in understanding the inadequacies in different software QA stages and finding better correcting practices.

What is measurement and why it is required?

The process of assigning numbers or symbols to attributes of real world entities for describing them according to defined rules is called measurement.

For developing quality software, several characteristics like requirements, time and effort, infrastructural cost, requirement testability, system faults, and improvements for more productive resources should be measured.

Measuring software testing is required:

1. If the available test cases cover all the system’s aspects

2. For tracking problems

3. For quantifying testing

Choose the suitable metrics:

Several metrics can measure software-testing process.

Here, the following types of metrics are identified:

Base metrics:

These raw data are collected in a testing effort and applied in formulae used to derive Calculated Metrics.

The Test Metrics comprise of the Number of

Test Cases Passed, Failed, Under Investigation, Blocked, Re-executed and Test Execution Time.

Calculated metrics:

They convert the Base Metrics data into useful information. Every test efforts must implement the following Calculated Metrics:

% Complete

% Defects Corrected

% Test Coverage

% Rework

% Test Cases Passed & Blocked

% Test Effectiveness & Efficiency

% 1st Run Failures

% Failures

Defect Discovery Rate

Defect Removal Cost

Measurements for Software Testing

The corresponding software testing process in software development measures each step for ensuring quality product delivery.

1. Software Size:

The amount of functionality of an application determines this and is calculated by

Function Point Analysis

Task Complexity Estimation Methodology

2. Requirements review:

Before software development, the Software requirement specifications (SRS) from the client are obtained. It must be:

Complete

Consistent

Correct

Structured

Ranked

Testable

Traceable

Unambiguous

Validate

Verified

The Review Efficiency is a metric that offers insight on the review quality and testing.

Review efficiency=100*Total number of defects found by reviews/Total number of project defects

3. Effectiveness of testing requirements:

It is measured by maintaining Requirement Trace-ability matrix and specification of requirements, which should have:

SRS Objective, purpose

Interfaces

Functional Capabilities

Performance Levels

Data Structures/Elements Safety

Reliability

Security/Privacy

Quality

Constraints & limitations

Next comes the updating of the crucial requirement trace-ability matrix or RTM, which determines the number and types of tests.

While measuring the mapping of test cases, the number and priority of requirement it tests, its execution effort and requirement coverage must be determined.

The Requirement compliance factor (RCF) measures the coverage provided by the test cases to one or set of requirement(s).

Mathematically,

RCFj=∑(Pi*Xi)/(maxXi)*(∑Pi)i=1

Where,

j is a set of requirements and (j=1-m);

Xi=2, if the test case (say Tj) tests requirements Ri completely,

=1, if it tests partially,

=0, if otherwise.
Effectiveness=RCFj/Ej where Ej=Time required for executing a test case

4. Evaluating estimation accuracy

Relative error=(A-E)/A where E is estimate of a value and A is actual value.

For a collection of estimates, the mean RE for n projects is

__ n
RE=1/n∑REi
i=1

For a set of n projects, the mean magnitude of RE (MRE) is

___ n
MRE=1/n∑MREi
i=1

Of a set of n projects, an acceptable level for MRE is less than 0.25.

If K is the number of projects whose mean magnitude of relative error is less than or equal to q,
then the prediction quality pred(q)=K/n

5. Measurement of Efficiency in testing process

In software testing, we must keep tabs on what we had planned and what we have actually achieved for measuring efficiency. Here, the following attributes play major roles: –

Cost: The Cost Variance (CV) factor measures the risk associated with cost.

CV=100*(AC PC)/PC, AC=Actual Cost, PC=Planned/Budgeted Cost.

Effort: Effort Variance (EV) measures effort.

EV=100*(AE PE)/PE
(AE=Actual Effort, PE=Planned Effort)

Schedule: Schedule Variance (SV) is important for project scheduling.

SV=100*(AD-PD)/PD where AD=Actual duration and PD=Planned duration.

Cost of quality: It indicates the total effort expended on prevention, appraisal and rework/failure activities versus all project activities.

Prevention Effort=Effort expended on planning, training and defect prevention.
Appraisal Effort=Effort expended on quality control activities.

Failure effort=Effort expended on rework, idle time etc.

COQ=100*(PE + AE + FE)/Total project effort.

Product –

Size variance: It is the degree of variation between estimated and actual sizes.
Size Variance=100*(Actual Software SizeInitial Estimated Software Size)/Initial Estimated Software Size

Defect density: It is the total number of defects in software with respect to its size.

Defect density=Total number of defects detected/software size

Mean Time Between Failures: MTBF is the mean time between two critical system failures or breakdowns.

MTBF=Total time of software system operation/Number of critical software system failures.

Defects: Defects are measured through:

Defect distribution: It indicates the distribution of total project defects.
Defect Distribution=100*Total number of defects attributed to the specific phase/Total number of defects.

Defect removal effectiveness: Adding the number of defects removed during the phase to the number of defects found later approximates this.

Benefits of implementing metrics in software testing:

Improves project planning.

Understanding the desired quality achieved.

Helps in improving the processes followed.

Analyzing the associated risks.

Improving defect removal efficiency.