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  1. #1
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    software installation failure metrics

    Hi.

    I was wondering if anyone knows of any kind of article, study, white paper, information regarding accepted industry standard software installation failure rates. Basically, what is the known industry standard percentage of software installation failures.

    Any kind of help toward the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

    thanks

  2. #2
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    Re: software installation failure metrics

    linol18

    Not sure what your asking for. If a product/application fails to install on a particular configuration (combination of OS/Hardware) then it will generally fail 100% of the time for that configuration. When a company develops a product they usually certify them for a set of OS/Hardware Combinations (whatever flavour) and they usually test that defined set. Any failures will be an OS/Hardware out of scope or any the forgot to test when releasing the product.
    Robert Tehve
    rtehve@bigpond.com

  3. #3
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    Re: software installation failure metrics

    Is this for a research project or something?
    - M

    Nothing learns better than experience.

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    Now wasting blog space at QAForums Blogs - The Lookout

  4. #4
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    Re: software installation failure metrics

    I see two potential directions on this. First, how many overall software project installations (meaning the project and software itself) have failed. There are numerous reports about this, one is the 'Chaos' reports (www.standishgroup.com) that discuss industry numbers in regards to project success/failures.

    Second, is the installation process of the application software. Failure in that respect is mult-layered. Did it fail completely (due to environment or other factor), did not function correctly (did not do a version compare against a file and overwrote it anyway, common problem), did not complete its functionality (most un-installs do not remove all the things they put on or change back things to what it was before), or just conflicted with other software (again overwrote a common file [like MFC42.dll] that another program uses). I know about these issues because I tested Installation/Licensing software for 4 years.

    So which is it? Project failure or Installation process failure. Let us know and you will get a plethora of responses either way.

    Jim
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    For all the general stuff to know about QA/Test go here http://www.softwareqatest.com/

  5. #5
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    Re: software installation failure metrics

    First off, thank you for all of your responses!!!

    jimhazen, I am headed towards the second direction. In essence, I just need to be able to quantify our software's installation failure rates against some kind of industry standard software installation failure rate.

    We provide ISP service via dialup lines so our software comprises installation of our dialer software on our customers computers. We have metrics that show us what the actual software installation failure rates are for our user base but we need some metrics around what the "general" software installation failure rates are (not just ISP software). We need to be able to ascertain where our software "ranks".

    Hopes this makes sense. As before, any input would be greatly appreciated.

  6. #6
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    Re: software installation failure metrics

    Originally posted by linol18:
    jimhazen, I am headed towards the second direction. In essence, I just need to be able to quantify our software's installation failure rates against some kind of industry standard software installation failure rate.
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">Hmm... that is not going to be an easy one to answer as a lot of companies are not going to publish that type of information. They don't want to admit their shortcomings/mistakes. I for one have not seen any type of whitepaper that talks specifically about failure rates of the installation process for COTS type software. It might be out there, but I can't give you a good direction to go on this one.

    Sorry. Anyone else?

    Good luck.

    Jim
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  7. #7
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    Re: software installation failure metrics

    There was a thread discussing Industry Standard metrics in general a couple of months ago - someone was looking for these to compare their company against an industry standard. The general consensus seemed to be that companies do not publish their failure or defect metrics.

    Based on this I doubt that you will find any Industry Standard.
    Lynne

    I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work" --Thomas Edison

  8. #8
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    Re: software installation failure metrics

    I think, that as Jim points out, there are possibly too many factors out there to 'rank' systems that are not direct competitors in the same marketplace. There is also the issue that installation failures may not be the fault of the software being installed; just look up how much software XP service pack 2 broke. You might get a better idea of how your software ranks by analyzing the reasons for failure for a number of sample cases, and identifying whether the failures are due to a weak, flawed, or inappropriate installation mechanism, or an issue that you could not hope to control. IMO, if the former is true you would rank lower than if the latter were true.

    I would also examine/rank the effects of a failed installation, in terms of roll back and recovery. A failed install that leaves a system in a the exact pre-install state is much more acceptable than one that causes damage, such as uninstalling a previous version of the same software.

    Just my 2c...

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    Re: software installation failure metrics

    Linol, In order to obtain accurate measurements to use, if you and your company are truly committed to determining this metric, I suggest you hire a research company to dig out the data. A third party, independent research group is the best bet as their data can be referenced to competitors if need be.
    Personal Comment

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  10. #10
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    Re: software installation failure metrics

    smacl

    If it says on the packaging SP x or later...... its a failure... I always wondered why companies put this on the packaging...... should just state the ones its been tested against. If MS comes along and clobbers your install.... not sure I regard this as failure, the implication here is that you are expected to anticipate MS SP directions.

    [ 12-08-2005, 02:10 PM: Message edited by: rtehve ]
    Robert Tehve
    rtehve@bigpond.com

 

 
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