Evaluating the validity of formative variables has presented ongoing challenges for researchers. In this paper we use global criterion measures to compare and critically evaluate two alternative formative measures of System Quality. One model is based on the ISO-9126 software quality standard, and the other is based on a leading information systems research model. We find that despite both models having a strong provenance, many of the items appear to be non-significant in our study. We examine the implications of this by evaluating the quality of the criterion variables we used, and the performance of PLS when evaluating formative models with a large number of items. We find that our respondents had difficulty distinguishing between global criterion variables measuring different aspects of overall System Quality. Also, because formative indicators “compete with one another” in PLS, it may be difficult to develop a set of measures which are all significant for a complex formative construct with a broad scope and a large number of items. Overall, we suggest that there is cautious evidence that both sets of measures are valid and largely equivalent, although questions still remain about the measures, the use of criterion variables, and the use of PLS for this type of model evaluation.