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An empirical study on decision making in off-the-shelf component-based development

: Li, J.; Conradi, R.; Slyngstad, O.P.N.; Bunse, C.; Torchiano, M.; Morisio, M.


Osterweil, L.J. ; Association for Computing Machinery -ACM-; IEEE Computer Society:
28th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE'2006 : Held May 20-28, 2006 in Shanghai, China
New York: ACM Press, 2006
ISBN: 1-59593-375-1
pp.897-900 : Lit.
International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) <28, 2006, Shanghai>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IESE ()
COTS software; open source software; empirical study; component-based development

Component-based software development (CBSD) is becoming more and more important since it promotes reuse to higher levels of abstraction. As a consequence, many components are available being either open-source software (OSS) or commercial-off-theshelf (COTS). However, it is still unclear how the decision for acquiring OSS or COTS components is made in practice. This paper describes an empirical study on why project decisionmakers selected COTS instead of OSS components, or vice versa. The study was performed as an international survey in Norway, Italy and Germany. It focused on decision making on using offthe-shelf (OTS) components. We have gathered answers from 83 projects using only COTS components and 44 projects using only OSS components. Results of this study show significant differences and commonalities of integrating OSS or COTS components. Moreover, the study illustrates several research questions that warrant future research.