Accessing COSMIC benchmark data

All ISBSG data on COSMIC-measured projects in the ISBSG repository can be accessed via the ISBSG data portal.
For a no-cost trial, you can establish an account on the portal and get 10 free credits. You can then experiment with searching and filtering the data. You can then buy more credits if you wish to take a license to continue accessing the COSMIC data.
Instructions for searching the COSMIC projects in the repository are given below. The system will tell you how many projects are available and how many credits are needed. If you choose to license the data you will get a set of reports for your dataset and free use of the OLAP tool to do your own analysis of your dataset. Your dataset will be saved for you and can be recalled at any time.


  1. After you login, the Search screen will be displayed
  2. In the Add Filters section from the drop down list boxes, select: Count Approach = COSMIC
  3. Click on the blue Search button (lower right)
  4. You will get a message telling you that the search will cost you 2 credits (2 of your free credits)
  5. Click OK
  6. The system will search the ISBSG data and then report the number of COSMIC projects that were found
  7. You still have 8 free credits left to experiment with your own searches
  8. If you run out of credits and want to do more searches or license a dataset, click on Buy Credits at the top of the screen

If you want to refine your search, for example search for COSMIC, Real-Time projects, then after step 2 above:

  • Click the green + button
  • In the Add Filters section from the drop down list boxes select: Application Group = Real-Time Application
  • Then continue from step 3 above.

COSMIC project data in the ISBSG repository

As noted above, there is now data on hundreds of projects where the delivered software size has been measured using the COSMIC method. This number is growing steadily. A report is available from the ISBSG containing a detailed analysis of these projects, showing how project productivity (size/effort) and speed (size/duration) vary with, e.g.

  • Software domain (business application, real-time, software component)
  • New development versus enhancement projects
  • Programming language level and type (e.g. 3GL vs 4GL, COBOL, Java, etc)

The report also contains

  • An analysis of how effort is distributed over the major activities of a project by percentages
  • An analysis of the characteristics of COSMIC functional size measurements, e.g. the proportions of Entries, Exits, Reads and Writes and how these vary with software domain
  • Examples of how existing ISBSG benchmark data, obtained from projects using the IFPUG FSM method, compare with benchmarks obtained with COSMIC-measured project data

The report should be of major value to all organizations using the COSMIC method or thinking of adopting the method.