GLOSSARY of Conformance Terminology
Although there is a general understanding of what is meant by conformance, the nuances and meaning of terms associated with conformance have been refined for specific standards and communities. This glossary presents terminology consistent with several ISO/IEC and IEEE standards.
The 2 major terms are:
- Conformance - fulfillment of an implementation of all requirements specified; adherence of an implementation to the requirements of one or more specific specifications or standards.
- Conformance Testing - testing to evaluate the adherence or non-adherence of an implementation to a specification.
Additional terms are:
- Certification (of conformance) a document attesting that an implementation
- Conformance Clause - clause in a specification that states all the
requirements that shall be satisfied to claim conformance to that part of
- Conformity - see Conformance. ISO/IEC Guide 2 uses the term conformity
rather than conformance.
- Falsification - test method that attempts to find errors in an implementation
to determine if it correctly implements the requirements in a given specification.
Falsifications testing can only demonstrate non-conformance. If errors are
found, the implementation does not conform, the absence of errors does not
necessarily imply the converse.
- Implementation - realization of a specification; it can be a software
product, system, service, program, or webpage.
- Software validation (conformity assessment) - the process of testing
software for compliance with applicable specifications or standards.
- Test laboratory - an organization that carries out conformance testing.
This can be a third party, a user organization, or a recognized private operating
organization or an identifiable part of a supplier organization.
- Test method - specified technical procedure to design a test suite
for a given specification
- Test procedures - defines the procedures to be followed when applying
a test suite to a product for the purposes of conformance testing.
- Test Suite - the combination of test software, test documentation,
and test procedures that check an implementation for conformance to a standard
- Validation - testing for conformance, by using an official test suite
in a prescribed manner.
Back to Interoperability &
September 2000: lsr