Software Reviews – Meaning, Objectives, Types, features

Software Reviews – Meaning, Objectives, Types, features & Processes

Software Review
Software Review

Has the definition of a software product ever confused you?


Have you ever pondered the purpose of software reviews? The answer you’ve been seeking for is right here, so stop wondering!

Any technical document that can be produced as a deliverable of software development activity, whether complete or in part, is referred to as a software product. Typically, it includes budgets, project plans, and contracts.

As a result, software might be a composite of a finished good that was produced using requirements documents, specifications, designs, source code, user manuals, support-related manuals, test plans, and more.

Similar to hardware review, software review is an extensive procedure that ends with a detailed examination of a software product in a meeting or at any other event. Project staff, managers, users, consumers, or user representatives typically carry out this process.

This phrase is used in software engineering to describe any work that is reviewed by skilled individuals who evaluate the software to identify its strengths and weaknesses. Here is a debate about software review to further explain its significance.

What is Software Review

Software review helps product engineers validate the software’s quality, functionality, and other key features and components as part of the “Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)”.

As was already said, it is a comprehensive procedure that includes testing the software product to make sure it satisfies the client’s expectations.

It is the methodical review of a document by one or more people who collaborate to identify and fix faults and flaws in software throughout the initial phases of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Software reviews are frequently carried out manually and are used to validate a variety of documents, including requirements, system designs, codes, “test plans,” and “test cases.”

Objectives of Software Review – Why Is Software Review Important?

There are many factors that make software review a crucial step in the software development process. It is one of those methodologies that gives the client and development team the chance to understand the project’s requirements. The team can use software review to check if the program was created in accordance with the requested specifications or not and make the necessary adjustments before it is released on the market. Other crucial justifications for software reviews include:


  • It increases the development team’s productivity.
  • As more time is spent testing the software during the original creation of the product, the testing process becomes more efficient in terms of time and money.
  • The completed software is found to have fewer flaws, which contributes to the process’ overall cost being lower.
  • The reviews offered at this point are determined to be cost-effective since they catch errors early on; fixing errors, later on, would cost much more than doing it right away.
  • Technical authors have frequently trained for both the “defect prevention process” and the “defect detection process” during this software review procedure. Only at this point are the deficiencies removed.
  • The software can greatly benefit from the removal of flaws or faults. Low error rates can be achieved through regular review of work samples and the detection of minute mistakes.
  • In actuality, this procedure drastically cuts the time needed to produce a document with good technical foundations.

Types of Software Reviews

There are primarily three different kinds of software reviews, each of which is carried out by a different team member and assesses specific facets of the software. Therefore, the many software reviews kinds are:

  1. Software Peer Review: Peer review is the process of assessing the product’s technical content and quality, and it is often carried out by the work product’s author in collaboration with a few other developers. Peer review serves as “a disciplined engineering practice for discovering or resolving faults in the software artifacts, limiting their leakage into the field operations,” according to the “Capacity Maturity Model.”

Peer review is done, in short, to identify or fix software flaws, the quality of which is also checked by other team members.

Peer review types:

  • Code Review”: A systematic review of the computer source code is done to correct errors and eliminate vulnerabilities from the software product, further enhancing its quality and security.
  • “Pair Programming“: is a sort of code review in which two programmers collaborate on a piece of code while using a single workstation.
  • Casual: As implied by its name, this style of review is informal, and it is very well-liked and used by individuals all over the world. Informal reviews don’t need a lot of people, documentation, or “entrance requirements.” It is an undocumented time-saving method.
  • “Walkthrough”: In this scenario, a designer or developer guides a group of software developers through a piece of software as they make the essential inquiries and remarks regarding numerous flaws & faults. In several ways, this approach is different from technical review and “software inspection.”
  • Technical Review: A team of qualified individuals review the program throughout the technical review process and assess its suitability to determine its intended usage and to spot any irregularities.
  • Inspection: This formal kind of peer review involves a process-driven examination of the software product by knowledgeable and experienced personnel for errors and flaws. The author can enhance the software’s quality via inspection.
  1. Software Management Review: The management representatives conduct these reviews in the later stages. This kind of review’s goal is to assess the state of the job. Additionally, choices about the activities downstream are made on the basis of such reviews.
  2. Software Audit Reviews: A “Software Audit” review, also known as a software review, is a type of external review in which one or more auditors, who are not members of the development team, independently examine the software product and its processes to determine whether they adhere to stated specifications, standards, and other crucial criteria. People with managerial experience carry out this.

Informal vs. Formal Reviews

Software engineers most frequently utilize informal reviews to detect flaws and talk about solutions to these problems or discrepancies. Formal reviews are also highly significant types of reviews. Therefore, the two are compared below so that you can grasp these crucial sorts of software review:

Formal Evaluation

“Formal review,” a sort of peer review, adheres to a formal procedure and has a particular formal agenda. It has a carefully planned and regulated process that is often put into place at the conclusion of each life cycle. A formal review panel or board evaluates the measures required for the following life cycle during this phase.

Formal review criteria include:

  • Evaluating compliance with standards and specifications.
  • Executed by a team of three or more people. The evaluation team requests that the technical leadership’s management implement the offered recommendations.

In this situation, the leader ensures that the action documents are authenticated and integrated into external processes.

The six crucial steps of a formal review are:

  • Kick-off.
  • A review session.

Informal Evaluation

Informal reviews, in contrast to formal reviews, are used repeatedly in the early phases of the software development process. The formal reviews follow a formal agenda, whilst the informal reviews are conducted as needed by the team and follow an informal agenda. This is the main distinction between the two types of reviews.

Although time-saving, this procedure is not recorded and does not call for a sizable number of participants.

Features of Informal Review:

  • A group of 2–7 people, including the designer and any other interested parties, conduct an informal review.
  • Here, the team looks for faults and problems and considers potential solutions.
  • It provides a forum for education.
  • The program designer is responsible for any changes.
  • Other project controls have confirmed these modifications.
  • Informal reviews have two purposes; they enlighten authors and raise product quality.

Generic formal review process according to IEEE 1028

A standard set of actions for “formal” reviews is defined by IEEE 1028. (With some variations, especially for software audit). The management review, technical review, inspection, walk-through, audit, etc. are all differentiated according to this standard.

The prescribed order of standard activities is largely based on Michael Fagan’s software inspection procedure, which was first created at IBM. Although the rigor with which this structure is applied may vary depending on the type of review, all of the following are required for inspection:

  1. Entry evaluation: To make sure the ideal circumstances are present for a successful review; the review leader follows a standard checklist of entry criteria.
  2. Management preparation: Responsive management make sure that the review will have enough employees, time, materials, and tools, and that it will be carried out in accordance with applicable policies, standards, or criteria.
  3. Planning the review: The review leader establishes or confirms the review’s goals, assembles a group of reviewers, and makes sure the group has all the tools it needs to carry out the review.
  4. Overview of review procedures: The review leader or another qualified individual makes sure that all reviewers are aware of the review’s objectives, procedures, available resources, and methods of performing the review (perhaps in a meeting).
  5. Individual] Preparation: Each reviewer carefully examines the work under review to look for “anomalies” (possible flaws), which will vary depending on the type of review and its objectives. This individual preparation precedes the group assessment of the work under review.


  1. Group Examination: The reviewers gather at a predetermined time to discuss the outcomes of their preparation work and come to an agreement on the current state of the document (or activity) under review.
  2. Rework/Follow-up: The author of the work product (or another appointed person) takes the necessary steps to correct flaws or otherwise meet the requirements decided upon at the examination meeting. The review coordinator confirms that each action item has been completed.
  3. Exit evaluation: The review leader confirms that all tasks required for a productive review have been completed and that all outputs pertinent to the type of review have been completed.

The Value of Reviews

The most obvious benefit of software reviews (particularly formal reviews) is that they can spot problems earlier and more affordably than testing or field use could (the “defect detection process”) When a fault is discovered by a thorough review, it may cost one or two orders of magnitude less to locate and correct it than when the same defect is discovered during test execution or in the field.

A second, and ultimately more significant, the benefit of software reviews is that they may be used to educate technical authors on how to create documents with a very low defect rate as well as to find and correct process flaws that lead to defects (the “defect prevention process”).

This is especially true for peer reviews that are undertaken early and frequently on drafts of the work rather than after it has been finished. Small work samples should be reviewed frequently to find systematic problems in the author’s work procedures that can be fixed before more subpar work is completed. The time it takes to create a technical document of high quality and the likelihood of errors while using the document in subsequent procedures can both be significantly decreased by improving author skills.

In general, the earlier a technical document is written, the more detrimental its flaws will be to any subsequent operations and the output of those efforts. Therefore, early inspections of documents like marketing plans, contracts, project plans and schedules, and requirements specifications will be of the most use. The effectiveness of the reviewing process in locating bugs and security vulnerabilities has been demonstrated by researchers and practitioners.

What are the best software reviews sites?

  1. G2 Crowd
  2. SoftwareWorld
  3. Capterra
  4. SoftwareAdvice
  5. PCMag
  6. FinancesOnline
  7. TechnologyAdvice
  8. SourceForge
  9. SaaSGenius
  10. GetApp
  11. SoftwarePundit
  12. IT Central Station
  13. Top Ten Reviews
  14. DiscoverCloud
  15. TrustRadius
  16. Crozdesk
  17. Fitsmallbusiness
  18. Clutch
  19. GoodFirms
  20. SoftwareSuggest

 Software Review Template

Software Evaluation Template
Software Evaluation Template


Based on the foregoing discussion, it can be said that software review is an essential component of the “software development life cycle (SDLC)” that aids programmers and other project participants in enhancing the software’s quality and other elements.

A team can easily find and fix problems with a software product while still adhering to its specifications, standards, and other relevant criteria with the help of software review. Software review, in brief, is a useful procedure that enables developers to provide clients with high-quality products.

What people are also asking

What is the best site for software reviews?

The top 10 software review websites, in my opinion, are as follows:

  1. G2 (previously known as G2 Crowd)
  2. Gartner Digital Markets: Capterra, GetApp, and SoftwareAdvice
  3. Capterra
  4. Software Advice
  5. GetApp
  6. Gartner Peer Insights
  7. TrustRadius
  8. PeerSpot (Formerly IT Central Station)
  9. Trustpilot
  10. SoftwareReviews

How is the software review helpful?

The team can use software review to check if the program was created in accordance with the requested specifications or not and make the necessary adjustments before it is released on the market. Other crucial justifications for software reviews include: It increases the development team’s output.

What is software evaluation?

Software evaluations are a specific kind of assessment that looks to see if a piece of software, or a group of software programs, is the greatest possible fit for a particular client’s requirements.

How should a software review be written?

  1. Software Testing
  2. Snap Pictures
  3. Planning
  4. Be Honest
  5. Use Language and Perspective That Is Appropriate
  6. Describe the Features of The Product
  7. Steer clear of marketing jargon
  8. Always-Valid Content
  9. Deliver A Decision
  10. Include A Few Tricks and Tips

What is a software design review?

A technical meeting called a design review is done early on in the software development process. A design review often entails presenting a planned software design to a group of stakeholders at an early enough stage in the process to allow for adjustments as needed.

What is the process of software validation?

The process of establishing concrete proof that a computer system has been installed correctly, will satisfy users’ needs, and performs in accordance with its intended purpose is known as software validation.