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Process support for distributed software development: A survey of existing approaches

: Niebuhr, D.
: Rombach, H.D.; Münch, J.

Kaiserslautern, 2004, IX, 122 pp. : Ill., Lit.
Kaiserslautern, Univ., Dipl.-Arb., 2004
Fraunhofer IESE ()
distributed software development; software development process; process support; communication; collaboration; coordination; outsourcing; distributed process; software engineering environment; platform; integration mechanism; approach; cooperation

These days software development projects are becoming more and more complex. Software artifacts containing millions of lines of code are not an exception anymore. Developing products of this complexity can hardly be managed at a single distribution site. Therefore more and more software development companies are tending to distribute their software development teams in globally dispersed sites. Mainly there are two different types of distributed development. On the one hand, the distribution is done within an organization while on the other hand the distribution occurs beyond organizational borders such as outsourcing of development activities.
This distributed way of software development brings with it many new challenges. For example remote sites cause a remarkable reduction of communication between the sites. Taking this challenge might lead to avoid misunderstandings and subsequent schedule slippages and therefore minimize the increased development risks while profiting from the numerous benefits of distributed development.
This diploma thesis surveys different approaches for supporting distributed development. Approaches dealing with process support for distributed software development are the focus of attention of the thesis. Furthermore it gives a comparison of these approaches containing their advantages and the problems they still have to deal with.
These comparisons can be seen as a starting point for a software development company, which has to choose fitting approaches, dealing with the problems it discovered during distributed development.
Finally the thesis summarizes several experiences made at different companies, which had to deal with (globally) distributed software development and mentions some requirements, which have to be met, in order to enact successful distributed development projects.