Software inspection is a valuable technique for defect detection. Recent research has considered the development of computer support, with the aim of providing even greater benefits when applying inspection. This has resulted in the development of a number of prototype support systems. These suffer from some fundamental limitations, however. Asynchronous/Synchronous Software Inspection Support Tool (ASSIST) is designed to tackle these limitations and to provide a platform for rigorous investigation of the inspection process. It uses a custom-designed language known as Inspection Process Definition Language to allow support of any inspection process, and provides an open, expandable system allowing multiple document types to be catered for easily. A number of facilities designed to enhance the inspection process are also present. q 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.