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Next: Other useful information Up: Introduction Previous: What is a ``Function

Important introductory FPA notes

There are several other important notes about the FPA process that need to be introduced at this time:

Measured from the user's perspective
The size of the application being measured is based on the user's view of the system. It is based on what the user asked for, not what is delivered. It's based on the way the user interacts with the system, including the screens that the user uses to enter input, and the reports the users receive as output. Finally, it's also based on their understanding of the data that needs to be stored and processed by the system.

Technology-independent
As mentioned in the objectives section, FPA is also technology-neutral. As a Certified Function Point Specialist (CFPS) it does not matter to me what technology you are using to implement your application. It doesn't matter if it's a Web application written in Java, PHP, ColdFusion, or .Net; or a client-server app written in Java, Delphi, VB; or even an AS/400 RPG application. Just show me your screens and your data tables and I'll derive "number of function points" from there.

Low cost
Adding FPA to your software development portfolio is also very easy. Historically, adding the process of counting FPs to your development process results in a cost increase of only 1%.

Repeatable
Studies have shown that multiple function point counters can independently count the same application to within 10% accuracy of each other. Repeatability is very important, because without it we could not begin to trust the data from the hundreds of applications that are stored in repositories around the world.

Work well with use cases
This process works extremely well with use cases, and can even work with the concept of "stories" in Extreme Programming.