Function Points FAQs
Error Files, Suspense Files, Event Logs, Journal Files, Statistics Files
How should system files which are maintained/accessed by most business transactions within an application be counted?
In certain applications there exists a business requirement to maintain data on the processing events that have occurred within the system. This data may be stored as a separate record for each event, or a summarised record for the events occurring within a particular timeframe, or some other processing window.
The system files, which record this data, are maintained/accessed by many business transactions. The primary objective of the business transaction is to maintain/access core master data. It is not the primary objective of the business transaction to maintain data on the system file. However each occurrence of a successful or unsuccessful business function must be recorded.
In assessing this type of functionality, the first thing that must be established is whether these system files contain real, user requested, business data and have not been implemented for technical reasons only. A clear indication of this is provided if there are reports or on-line queries available in the counted application or other applications, which extract the stored information for reporting purposes, and these reports are used by the business user or the application, and not solely by the development/project team.
Having established that the functions are a user requested business requirement the following functions are counted:
Where they exist the following files may be counted
These system files are only to be counted as an FTR for their own maintenance and reporting functions. The file is not counted as a separate FTR on every other system function, even though, the maintenance of the file may be physically implemented in this way. This decision has been made to avoid the situation where the majority of the External Input transactions in the application, are ‘driven’ to high complexity because, the common files accessed, are counted as FTRs to each transaction.
Transactions: External Inputs:
The following transactions may be counted as External Inputs
Note: Event Logs, Journal Files and Statistics file do not often provide maintenance transactions to allow data to be modified and deleted. The data on these files is used for ‘audit’ purposes and normally changes would not be allowed. The Modify and Delete function for these files must exist before being counted – do not just assume their existence.
Transactions: External Outputs/External Enquiries:
Where they exist, the following may be counted as External Outputs or External Enquiries
Note: It is the existence of these reports and enquiries, which establishes the business requirement for the files.
If your function point counting repository software supports the recording of functional hierarchies, then it is recommended that these functions should be identified on a separate branch on the functional hierarchy.