An Introduction to Function Point Analysis

This appendix provides more information about function point analysis. Keep in mind that even this discussion will provide you with only a basic understanding. Although function point analysis is not difficult, the rules for counting function points can be complex for the novice. Resources, such as books, Web sites, training, and certification, are widely available if you are interested in learning more.


Lines of code (LOC) or source lines of code (SLOC) have been the traditional way of estimating the size of an application. Although intuitively appealing, estimating or counting lines of code have several disadvantages. First, many organizations develop applications using different programming languages, platforms, tools, and so on. An IT project developed in Visual Studio® and SQL Server® will be difficult to compare to a mainframe-based COBOL application. Moreover, experienced and talented programmers tend to write more efficient code than novice programmers. As a result, experienced programmers may write fewer lines of code than novices and still accomplish the same thing. In addition, no set standard exists for determining what exactly should be counted. For example, should remarks or documentation lines be counted? What about the initialization of variables? Although counting lines of code seems fairly straightforward, ...

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