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Agitar Begins Open Quality Initiative, Quality-Level Agreements to Better Software Development

Initiative Brings Higher Levels of Transparency and Confidence to Software Development Projects

Agitar Software has announced a new multi-vendor initiative devoted to improving the quality of Java software by exposing the thoroughness of testing. Under its Open Quality Initiative, Agitar publishes extensive unit-level testing metrics about its own products, including formal weekly-build results of its upcoming unannounced products and trends over time. Agitar also publishes these testing metrics for popular open-source Java projects, including Hibernate, JUnit, Struts, Cruise Control, Spring, and commercial open source products such as JasperSoft's JasperServer and Oracle's BerkeleyDB Java edition.
A company statement by Agitar challenges other software companies to publish testing metrics for their own products and is making the Open Quality website available to all Java ISVs and SIs willing to go public with their testing data. Metrics on the quantity and quality of unit tests are a very effective and objective way to measure the depth of testing as the code is developed.

Unit tests are evidence that quality was "built into" the code and help ensure that quality remains high as the software is changed. The initiative's goal is to let developers and decision-makers know how thoroughly the code they use has been unit-tested -- the bedrock of quality.

Agitar says that most Java products and projects make only vague statements about quality. However, companies like JasperSoft, an early Open Quality participant and the leader in open source business intelligence software, are taking an aggressive approach to testing, quality, precise metrics, and transparency. "JasperSoft believes quality initiatives are helpful in removing any lingering questions customers might have about the quality of open-source products," said JasperSoft CTO Barry Klawans. "When open-source vendors bring testing transparency to the open-source market, customers can trust that vendors are delivering high-quality, enterprise-hardened software. Based on feedback from our growing number of customers and prospects on the importance of quality, we expect our early involvement with Open Quality to positively affect our ability to close business."

"Enterprises deploying open source software need to be able to trust its quality, security, and readiness. Agitar's approach of publicly disclosing test code, coverage, and results gives technologists the information they need to make good decisions," said Bernard Golden, CEO of open source consultancy Navica Software and author of the Addison-Wesley book, Succeeding with Open Source. "The principles behind OpenQuality.org are equally applicable to proprietary software packages, and fit nicely in the Open Source Maturity Model, which customers use to assess the suitability of open source software for use in their organizations."

"Open source is a good way to establish trust, because the code is exposed to everyone. But open source is not for every organization. Agitar believes that all software buyers deserve genuine openness about the quality of the software they're getting -- whether it's an ISV package or custom in-house, offshore, or outsourced development," said Jerry Rudisin, Agitar CEO.

"Embracing Open Quality and using Quality-Level Agreements bring full transparency through objective testing metrics. This builds trust. The best way to improve quality is to create tests from the very beginning and monitor trends throughout the project. We encourage buyers to demand this practice from their suppliers, and vendors to treat open quality as a competitive advantage."

Agitar says it invites other quality-conscious Java software providers --both open source and commercial -- to participate in this initiative and in the development of additional meaningful quality metrics.



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