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Supporting architects in mastering the complexity of open software ecosystems

: Knodel, Jens; Naab, Matthias; Rost, Dominik

Kaiserslautern, 2015, 6 S.
IESE-Report, 015.15/E
Reportnr.: 015.15/E
Fraunhofer IESE ()
software architecture; software ecosystem; openness

Software ecosystems define a new class of systems where multiple organizations contribute in form of an open software system and its extensions. In this position paper, we characterize business, organizational, and in particular technical challenges, which the architect of such an open ecosystem has to address. One key challenge we identified is how to retain certain system qualities under the influence of multiple external system extensions. We provide an initial template with factors and potential values helping an architect in characterizing the open software system and its environment. Furthermore, we illustrate an open system by a fictional scenario from the agricultural domain. The discussion of the challenges, the characterization template and the example are significant steps towards a systematic engineering method establishing open ecosystems.