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Auditing Supplier Software Quality at the ECB

A case study of software code quality in the financial industry

The customer challenge

The European Central Bank (ECB) is responsible for monetary and financial policy within the Eurozone and one of the most prestigious financial institutions worldwide. Software development is not the focus of the ECB: they outsource the development of many of their systems to third parties. However, the ECB wants to make sure that after purchasing the software, it is maintainable enough to develop additional features over time. To make sure this is the case, the ECB was looking for an independent party to audit their software against industry-recognized standards.

Why did the customer select TIOBE?

Together with TÜViT, TIOBE developed the TIOBE TÜViT Trusted product maintainability ISO/IEC 25010 Quality Model. This Quality Model enables organizations to audit the maintainability of their software in an independent and repeatable way. Based on the results of TIOBE’s assessments, TÜViT can issue an official certificate if the maintainability is above a certain qualification level. An independent assessment with an official TÜViT certification was exactly what the ECB needed.

What did TIOBE do?

Based on the application domain of the software, TIOBE advised that the software developed by the ECB’s supplier should at least receive a C grade on an A to F scale to qualify as maintainable. TIOBE measured the ECB’s system on a set of 5 metrics to determine the
software’s maintainability. This was Followed by a TIOBE report that included benchmarking statistics and advice on how ECB can best move forward with the system from a software quality perspective. The set of software quality metrics TIOBE used to measure the Maintainability, were the following:

“We enhanced our vendor management through rigorous software quality validations based on objective ISO standards thanks to TIOBE”

Sander Veenstra, Principal IT Development Expert, ECB

Mission accomplished!

The software ECB scored a B-grade, which meant that TÜViT could officially issue a Trusted Product Maintainability certificate. The results also gave insights into how the software could be improved further.


With over 20 years of experience and expertise in measuring and auditing software quality in high-tech environments, Netherlands-based TIOBE leads the way to software quality improvements with a balanced approach, ensuring the timely delivery of new features and in
parallel improving code quality. To achieve this, TIOBE combines the TiCS framework, fit to be tailored to specific customer needs, with in-depth code quality expertise, allowing sustainable code quality improvements. In 2022 TIOBE became a trusted evaluation body for TÜV’s successful certification scheme “Trusted Product Maintainability”.