ISO IEC 90003 2004 Plain English Definitions

See the NEW ISO IEC 90003 2014 quality standard for software.

Acceptance Tests - Activity - Baseline - Configuration Control
Configuration Identification - Configuration Item - Configuration Management
Configuration Status Accounting - COTS - Development - Integration Tests
Life Cycle Model - Measure (Verb) - Measure (Noun) - Measurement - Process
Qualification Tests - Quality-in-use Metrics - Regression Testing - Release
Replication - Software Item - Software Product - Software Service

System Tests - Unit Tests - Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

Information Security - Auditing - Quality Management

Acceptance tests

Acceptance tests use criteria to evaluate the complete software
product to ensure that customer requirements have been met
and that the software is acceptable to the customer.


An activity is defined as a set of related tasks.


A baseline is a specific version of a configuration item
that has been officially selected and formally approved
at a particular point in the item’s life cycle. A baseline
serves as the basis for future development work.

Configuration control

The process of managing a configuration item that
is being updated is called configuration control.

Configuration identification

The process of selecting items, recording their identifying
characteristics, and assigning unique identifiers to these
items is called configuration identification.

Configuration item

A configuration item is a component or some combination
of components that satisfies an end use function and is
treated as a single unique entity for configuration

Configuration management

Configuration management is a discipline whose purpose
is to identify the status of configuration items and to control
changes throughout their life cycle.

Configuration status accounting

The process of controlling a configuration item that is
modified because of a change request or problem
is called
configuration status accounting.


COTS is an acronym that stands for “commercial-off-the-
shelf”. COTS software products are mass produced and
used “as-is” by customers with little or no customization.


Development is a software life cycle process that is made
up of the following activities: requirements analysis, design,
coding, integration, testing, installation, and acceptance.

Integration tests

Integration tests examine aggregations of individual software
features and components in order to determine whether a new
feature or component works with (or integrates with) existing
features and components. Integration tests are used to prove
that all software features and components work together.

Life cycle model

A software life cycle model is a conceptual framework used
to organize and manage software product development,
operation, maintenance, and retirement activities. Life cycle
are used to control the evolution of software products
from the beginning of their life to their ultimate termination.

Measure (verb)

To measure means to determine the value
of a variable by performing a measurement.

Measure (noun)

A measure is a variable made up of values.
When measurement is carried out, a value
(quantity) is assigned to a variable.


Measurement is a set of operations that are carried out
in order to determine the value of a variable (measure).


In general, a process uses resources to transform inputs
into outputs. In every case, inputs are turned into outputs
because some kind of work, activity, or function is carried out.

Qualification tests

Qualification tests evaluate the complete software
prior to its delivery to the customer.

Quality-in-use metrics

Quality‑in‑use metrics are used to monitor and measure how
effectively and safely software products satisfy user needs.

Regression testing

Regression testing is carried out in order to figure out
whether or not a software change is a step backwards or a step
forwards. It is used to determine whether or not a change did
more harm than good: whether or not it is regressive or
progressive. Regression testing is carried out in order to
see if changes to a software component have created
new defects
or reduced the reliability, performance,
or functionality of the software product.


A release is a specific version of a configuration item that
is made available or released for a particular purpose.


Replication refers to the process or act of copying a
software product from one medium to another medium.

Software item

A software item is any identifiable part of a software product.

Software product

A software product is made up of a set of computer programs.
In addition to programs, the term software product may also
include the associated procedures, documentation, or data.
software product may be part of another software product,
may be used to develop other software products, or may be a
product that has been designated for delivery to customers.

Software service

Software service is work that is performed in support
of a software product. Software service includes activities
and duties related to software product development, maintenance, and operation.

System tests

System tests examine the complete software system.

Unit tests

Unit tests are stand alone tests of software components.

Work breakdown structure (WBS)

The work breakdown structure is the foundation of
project planning.
WBS is used to break complex
projects into detailed phases and tasks and often
defines specific outcomes and deliverables.


ISO IEC 90003 2014 PAGES

Introduction to ISO IEC 90003 2014 Standard

ISO IEC 90003 2014 versus ISO IEC 90003 2004

Outline of ISO IEC 90003 2014 Software Standard

Overview of ISO IEC 90003 2014 Software Standard

Plain English ISO IEC 90003 2014 Quality Definitions

ISO IEC 90003 2014 Standard Translated into Plain English

ISO IEC 90003 2014 Software Quality Management Checklist

ISO IEC 90003 2014 Software Quality Management Audit Tool

ISO IEC 90003 2014 Software Quality Management Gap Analysis

ISO 9000-3:1997 Software Quality Management Standard (obsolete)

Updated on February 1, 2017. First published on July 30, 2005.

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