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CA8: Maintenance

Assessment may not be required at this stage. Minimum and expected standard levels to be defined in a future version of this document.

  • Minimum standard - SML1

  • Expected standard - SML1

  • Excellent standard - SML5

SML1 - Initial usability: There is known contact information available for the developer organisation(s) and there is a willingness to provide minimal, occasional support without guarantees. It may not be possible for an end-user to use the software without some support.

SML2 - Use is feasible: The developer organisation(s) respond to reported issues with updates/patches that are usually made available in a reasonably timely fashion. Some support is available, but may be intermittent and without guarantees of continuation. There is evidence of an informal user community that provides answers, for example, via a mailing list or discussion group. Documentation and source code availability may be sufficient for an experienced user (developer, operations or end-user) to not require extensive support.

SML3 - Use is possible by most users: Support is centralised in a website containing relevant resources, answers to FAQs, other useful information and a community support question & answer area (e.g. mailing list, discussion group). There is evidence that the developer organisation(s) occasionally engage with users in the community support area. There is no roadmap, but urgent updates/patches are released as needed. There is no opportunity to obtain a support Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the developer(s) or a third party.

SML4 - Software is usable: There is organised and clearly defined support by the developer with an issue tracker and additional documentation such as case studies and other detailed information for a range of user communities (developers, operations staff, and end-users). There is no evidence that continuity of support is implied. It may be possible to negotiate an SLA for support, but this is not a standard offering of the developer organisation(s).

SML5 - Demonstrable usability: The support by the organisation(s) is clearly defined with frequent and timely updates, releases, etc., responding to the needs of the user communities as well as consolidation of changes by the community. There is a staffed telephone/email developer support helpdesk available as well as a maintained website. Discussion groups are active and include regular input from the developer(s) and developer organisation(s). There is evidence that continuity of support is implied. Support may be free or fee-based via a support Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the developer(s) or a third party.