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A state-of-the-practice survey of off-the-shelf component-based development processes

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


Morisio, M.:
Reuse of off-the-shelf components. 9th International Conference on Software Reuse, ICSR 2006 : Turin, Italy, June 12-15, 2006. Proceedings
Berlin: Springer, 2006 (Lecture Notes in Computer Science 4039)
ISBN: 3-540-34606-6
ISBN: 978-3-540-34606-7
International Conference on Software Reuse (ICSR) <9, 2006, Turin>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IESE ()
component; Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS); open source; empirical evaluation; survey; Off-the-Shelf (OTS); open source software

To gain competitive advantages software organizations are forced to develop systems quickly and cost-efficiently. Reusing components from thirdparty providers is one key technology to reach these goals. These components, also known as OTS (Off-the-Shelf) components, come in two different types: COTS (Commercial-Off-The-Shelf) and OSS (Open-Source-Software) components. However, the reuse of pre-fabricated components bears one major question: How to adapt development processes/methods with refer to system development using OTS components. To examine the state-of-the-practice in OTS component-based development a survey on 133 software projects in Norway, Italy and Germany was performed. The results show that OTS-based development processes are typically variations of well-known process models, such as the waterfall- or prototyping model, mixed with OTS-specific activities. One reason might be that often the process is selected before the use of OTS components is considered. Furthermore, the survey shows that the selection of OTS components is based on two processes: "Familiarity-based" and "Internet search-based". Moreover, it appears that the lifecycle phase to select OTS components is significantly correlated with a project members' previous familiarity with possible OTS candidates. Within this paper, we characterize the state-of-the-practice concerning OTS processes, using seven scenarios, and discuss how to decide or modify such processes and how to select OTS components.