Function Points FAQs
Record Element Types – Identification Guidelines
How are RETs identified within a file?
IFPUG 4.1 Definition
"A Record Element Type (RET) is a user recognisable sub-group of data elements within an ILF or EIF. There are two types of sub-groups
Despite the IFPUG definition, there exists some confusion among FP Analysts as to what a RET is, and how many DETs constitute a sub-group.
Two types of data groups are possible RET candidates:
In both of the above examples the word "potentially" has been used intentionally. While in both cases we have RET candidates, the existence of a "subgroup" of information must be demonstrated. IFPUG provides no guidance on how many DETs constitute a subgroup.
The IFPUG RET definition implies that one optional or repeating DET is not a subgroup. For example, the marital status of an Employee may be ‘Married’ or ‘Single’. If ‘Married’ a Spouse name is recorded. Spouse name is an optional attribute but the Employee file does not have two RETs.
Typically there are three groups of DETs that occur in optional/ repeating situations. These are:
It is recommended that a RET must comprise at least 2 DETs exclusive of primary and foreign keys and effective dates to satisfy the condition of a sub-group of information.
If in doubt, FP Analysts should not count a sub-group of information as a RET.