Malaysia’s ISO-based software certification scheme
By Digital News Asia June 16, 2017
- Nutriemart and Collaborative Portal Platform have obtained certification under the scheme
- The QS certification is based on ISO standards on software quality and evaluation methodologies
THE Malaysian Software Testing Board (MSTB) hits another milestone in its efforts to facilitate the strengthening of Malaysia's software industry as two Malaysian-made software products obtain certification under the Quality Software (QS) product certification scheme.
In addition to the quality endorsement, the QS scheme will also facilitate the certified products to gain foreign market access through various Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) which are undergoing government-to-government negotiations.
The two software products are Nutriemart, a dietary planning/monitoring application for health professionals and health-conscious individuals; and Collaborative Portal Platform (CPP), an innovative platform that enables organisations to have an effective and secure environment for multi-tracked communications and collaborations between internal and external individuals or groups over private or open networks.
Both products have been developed by home-grown software engineering company Custommedia Sdn Bhd.
With the QS certification, which is based on ISO standards on software quality and evaluation methodologies, the two products have earned international-level recognition from quality aspects.
“QS certification provides documented assurance on the quality of the software. In turn, this ought to give customers greater confidence on the software and enhance the competitive advantage of software in the open market.
“Having a good quality products enable the owner to have better returns through reduction in costs of maintenance of the products as well as to manage and rectify after-sale customer issues arising from poor quality,” said Professor Dr Aziz Deraman, the chair of the QS Decision Committee.
The QS Certification scheme has been developed by MSTB as one of the key initiative under the Malaysia Software Testing Hub programme.
In addition to indigenous expertise, MSTB also leverage on foreign expertise and transfer of technology through collaboration with the Korea Testing Laboratory which has been operating similar certification scheme in Korea since 2001.
The QS Certification Scheme generally covers all types of software products including Commercially-off-the-Shelf (COTS) and custom products, as well as embedded and hardware appliance software.
The Scheme is not limited to Made-in-Malaysia software and software-driven products only; it also caters for foreign-developed software products.
Quality evaluation for the QS Certification Scheme is carried out by Q-Laboratory’s Systems Test Lab which is accredited to MS/ISO 17025 standard (software testing lab).
The evaluation (testing) exercise produces an independent report pertaining to the quality of the software; covering areas of functionality, reliability, usability, efficiency, maintainability and portability.
The report is then presented to the QS Decision Committee, comprising representatives from the industry, which decides if the product under evaluation indeed fulfils the criteria for the certification.
MSTB president Mastura Abu Samah (pic) added that one must also take cognizance of Malaysia’s aggressive push into the digital economy which relies heavily on software-driven systems and applications. As they are the lifeline of the economic activities, these systems and applications must be of internationally-accepted level of quality and integrity.
“Without the quality and integrity of the systems and applications, the nation would high risks of systems failures which may lead to serious economic losses. The QS scheme, which provides independent quality assessment on the software products, can contribute towards achieving this intent by mitigating such risks.
“In the bigger picture, the QS scheme, supported by the appropriate policies, could also boost the growth of Malaysia’s software industry.”
Korea introduced its Good Software (GS) certification scheme in 2001 and it has proven to be an effective form of ‘intervention’ to seed rapid improvement in the quality of Korean-made software. Coupled with supporting policies set and practiced by the government, the GS scheme has been cited to be a contributor that helped grow the country’s software industry.
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