OPF Glossary - P



package
(1) a cohesive collection of software classes, interfaces, and other packages (i.e., a midsize software component).
(2) a cohesive collection of work products.
package architecture
the architecture of a software application or component in terms of its packages, their responsibilities, their relationships, and their interfaces.
Contrast with component architecture and concurrency architecture.
parallel
the characteristic of a stage whereby multiple producers (e.g., roles, teams) are concurrently performing tasks (e.g., different producers are simultaneously working on different work products).
partition
a major vertical collection of software components in a layered and partitioned software architecture.
Contrast with layer and tier.
partner organization
an organization that partners with another organization for their mutual benefit during the development of one or more work products.
partner representative
an role that a person plays when officially representing a partner organization when interacting with members of development organizations and customer organizations.
path
1) a use case path.
2) a contiguous sequence of statements in a software unit.
path coverage
a technique for ensuring that an adequate number of paths are executed by a test suite.
Contrast with statement coverage.
path requirement
a use case path requirement.
path testing
a testing technique that uses a test suite designed to achieve a certain level of path coverage.
Contrast with statement testing.
performance
(1) a user-oriented quality requirement specifying the speed with which an application or component shall execute its functions.
(2) a quantitative quality factor measuring the speed with which an application or component actually executes its functions, typically measured in terms of:
performance test
a test that attempts to cause failures to meet performance requirements under normal operating circumstances in order to identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks.
performance testing
the system testing of an application against its performance requirements under normal operating circumstances in order to identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks.
peripheral device
a hardware component modeling a device that is directly connected to a computer to input or output data.
person
a producer modeling a human being that plays a role on a project.
personal computer
a hardware component modeling a small computer, typically intended for personal use by an individual user.
personal area network (PAN)
a network in which all interconnected computers are distributed locally around an individual person (e.g., connected via Bluetooth).
Contrast with local area network (LAN) and metropolitan area network (MAN) and wide area network (WAN).
personal digital assistant (PDA)
a hardware component consisting of a small, mobile, hand-held device used for both personal and business use that creates, stores, and communicates personal (e.g., calendar and address book) and financial (e.g., expense reports) information.
personalization
(1) a user-oriented configurability quality requirement specifying the degree to which an application or component shall be able to be configured so that individual users each have a unique user-specific experience (e.g., an e-Commerce application knows a buyer’s preferences from previous purchases and presents appropriate advertisements).
(2) a quality factor measuring the degree to which an application or component is actually configured so that individual users each have a unique user-specific experience.
Contrast with functional variants and internationalization.
phase
a mid-sized stage that is an identified part of a cycle, consisting of a cohesive set of one or more builds and milestones.
See also business strategy phase, business optimization phase, initiation phase, construction phase, delivery phase, usage phase, and retirement phase.
physical architecture
that aspect of system architecture concerning the system components, their relationships, and how they collaborate to provide the system's capabilities.
Contrast with logical architecture.
physical security
a security mechanism for achieving security requirements that is based on hardware components (e.g., door locks, camera, passcard reader), the placement of hardware components (e.g., placing the firewall within a locked data center), or personnel (a guard performing security rounds).
physical security device
a hardware component that provides security to a data center.
For example, door locks, cameras, and passcard readers.
portability
(1) a developer-oriented quality requirement specifying the ease with which an application or component can be moved from one environment (e.g., hardware, operating system, and browser) to another, typically measured in terms of the maximum amount of effort permitted.
(2) a quantitative quality factor measuring the actual effort required to move an application or component from one environment to another.
Note that portability includes:
portability testing
the testing of an integrated [partial] system against its portability requirements.
portal
a website the primary purpose of which is to provide navagability to numerous other websites.
See also vortal.
postcondition
an assertion that must hold following the successful execution of the associated function (e.g., use case path, class method).
See also invariant and precondition.
power supply
a hardware component that provides uninterruptible electric currrent to a data center.
precision
(1) a user-oriented correctness quality requirement specifying either the maximum permitted variability or standard deviation of a quantitative data (e.g., measurements) from its average value, regardless of its accuracy.
(2) a quantitative quality factor measuring the variability of a defect from its average value.
For example, a temperature sensor is precise to .1 degree Celsius, but not very accurate because it consistently under measures the temperature by 3.5 degrees (i.e., the standard deviation of the temperature measurements may be sufficiently precise, but useless because the average temperature measurement returned by the temperature sensor is 3.5 degrees less than the true temperature making the temperature sensor not very accurate).
Contrast with allowable latent defects, accuracy, and timeliness.
precondition
an assertion that must hold prior to the successful execution of the associated function (e.g., use case path, class method).
See also invariant and postcondition.
presentation server
a server computer that provides presentation and personalization functionality.
Note that presentation servers often set between the web servers and the application servers in the hardware architecture.
print server
a server computer that manages and controls the queue or spooler of one or more networked printers.
privacy (a.k.a., confidentiality)
(1) a user-oriented security quality requirement specifying the degree to which an application or component shall ensure that its sensitive data and communications are kept private.
(2) a quality factor measuring the degree to which an application or component actually its sensitive data and communications from specified externals.
(3) a security mechanism for keeping sensitive data and communications private.
For example encryption and decryption.
Note that authorization can make privacy specific to individual [classes of] users.
procedure
a convention that that documents the steps for performing a single task or for performing the collection of tasks making up a single work flow.
Contrast with guideline and work flow.
process
1) a cohesive collection of endeavor-specific process components (e.g., work products, their producers, and the work units performed by the producers as they collaborate to produce the work products) that documents and constrains how an endeavor is executed.
Also known as a method or methodology.
2) the activity during which the project process is produced and maintained.
process component
a reusable part of a process, stored in a process repository.
process construction
the process engineering task during which the process framework is instantiated to produce an endeavor-specific process.
process construction guidelines
guidelines for constructing an endeavor-specific process from a process framework.
process consulting
the process engineering task of providing consulting and mentoring in the proper use of the process.
process description document
the process engineering work product that describes the endeavor-specific process.
process documentation
the process engineering task of communicating the endeavor-specific process to its stakeholders.
process engineer (a.k.a., methodologist)
the role that is played when a person performs process engineering tasks on an endeavor.
process engineering
the activity consisting of all tasks that are primarily involving the production, institution, maintenance, and use of an appropriate process framework.
process framework
a framework consisting of process components (e.g., work products, roles, activities, etc.) that is used to construct project-specific processes.
process framework extension
the process engineering task during which the process framework is extended with one or more additional process components so that complete processes can be constructed.
process framework iteration
the process engineering task during which the process framework is iterated.
process inspection checklist
the quality engineering work product that is used by a quality engineer to guide an inspection of the endeavor process.
process mandating
the process engineering task that mandates the use by the endeavor staff of the endeavor process.
process needs assessment
the process engineering task during which the appropriate process for an endeavor is determined.
process set
the set of all work products that are produced during the process activity.
Contrast with architecture set, configuration management set, deployment set, design set, implementation set, management set, process set, quality set, requirements set, and test set.
process tailoring
the process engineering task of tailoring the constructed process to more accurately fit the endeavor for which it was constructed.
process team
the team that is responsible for constructing (i.e., instantiating from the process framework) and maintaining the project process.
producer
a process component modeling anything that directly or indirectly produces a work product.
See also organization, role, and team.
production environment
the complete integrated set of hardware and associated software tools that is used by the customer organization and the user organizations to execute the application.
Contrast with development environment, integration environment, reuse environment, and test environment.
product selection report
the environments work product that reports the results of a product comparison as part of the product selection task.
program
a mid-sized endeavor consisting of a two or more related projects that are managed as a unit in order to obtain benefits not available from managing them individually.
Contrast with enterprise and project.
program manager
the role that is played when a person performs management tasks for a program of related projects.
program management
the activity consisting of the cohesive collection of all tasks that are primarily performed to manage a single program of related projects in order to fulfil the program's mission and to achieve its objectives.
program management team
the team that provides overall administrative management to a program of related projects.
programmer
the role that is played when a person produces the source code for new software components.
programming
the manual task of creating a software component by transforming a software design into source code written in a programming language.
Synonym for coding.
programming language
a computer language used to build software components.
programming standards
written conventions specifying rules and guidelines for the proper use of individual programming language constructs, commenting, naming, and formatting, etc. The purpose of coding standards are to prevent programming errors, control complexity, and promote the understandability of the source code.
Contrast with coding standards.
project
an atomic endeavor undertaken to produce and deliver one or more versions of a major work product (often an application) or to perform a service (e.g, to reengineer a business).
Contrast with enterprise and program.
project environments description document (PEDD)
the environments work product that formally documents each of the environments that will be produced and possibly delivered during a project.
project management
the activity consisting of the cohesive collection of all tasks that are primarily performed to manage a single project in order to fulfil its mission and to achieve its objectives.
project management team
the team that provides overall administrative management to the project.
project manager
the role that is played when a person performs management tasks for a single project.
project team
the overall team that organizes all other teams on the project.
project test plan (PTP)
the work product in the test work product set that formally documents all plans for performing all testing on a project.
protocol languages
a language use to specify a communications protocol.
prototype
an immature partial implementation of all or part of an application or component.
See also evolutionary prototype and throw-away prototype.
See also requirements prototype.
prototype usability testing
the integration testing of a user interface prototype against its usability requirements to determine if it contains any usability defects.
published content database
the content management data component consisting of a database storing published content.