Postrelease Testing And Software Release Policy For Enterprise-level Systems
Jacob, V. S. (Varghese S.)
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Prior work on software release policy implicitly assumes that testing stops at the time of software release. In this research, we propose an alternative release policy for custom-built enterprise-level software projects that allows testing to continue for an additional period after the software product is released. Our analytical results show that the software release policy with postrelease testing has several important advantages over the policy without postrelease testing. First, the total expected cost is lower. Second, even though the optimal time to release the software is shortened, the reliability of the software is improved throughout its lifecycle. Third, although the expected number of undetected bugs is higher at the time of release, the expected number of software failures in the field is reduced. We also analyze the impact of market uncertainty on the release policy and find that all our prior findings remain valid. Finally, we examine a comprehensive scenario where in addition to uncertain market opportunity cost, testing resources allocated to the focal project can change before the end of testing. Interestingly, the software should be released earlier when testing resources are to be reduced after release.