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A State-of-the-Practice Survey of Off-the-Shelf Component-Based Development Processes

Jingyue Li1, Marco Torchiano2, Reidar Conradi1,

Odd Petter N. Slyngstad1, and Christian Bunse3

1 Department of Computer and Information Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway {jingyue, conradi, oslyngst}@idi.ntnu.no 2 Dip. Automatica e Informatica, Politecnico di Torino Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24, I-10129 Torino, Italy marco.torchiano@polito.it

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Fraunhofer IESE, Fraunhoferplatz 1, D-67663 Kaiserslautern, Germany Christian.Bunse@iese.fraunhofer.de

Abstract. To gain competitive advantages software organizations are forced to develop systems quickly and cost-efficiently. Reusing components from third- party 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) compo- nents. However, the reuse of pre-fabricated components bears one major ques- tion: How to adapt development processes/methods with refer to system devel- opment 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 develop- ment 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 com- ponents 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 famili- arity with possible OTS candidates. Within this paper, we characterize the state-of-the-practice concerning OTS processes, using seven scenarios, and dis- cuss how to decide or modify such processes and how to select OTS compo- nents.

1 Introduction

Software development with OTS components is becoming increasingly popular in research and industrial communities. The use of OTS components introduces new

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