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7. Threats to validity

To avoid possible threats to the construct validity of this study, we performed a pre- test to verify the questionnaire. In addition, we use a lot of effort to ensure the repre- sentative of the sample. Detailed discussion on other validities issue of this study are reported at [4], [7].

8. Conclusion and future work

This paper has presented a state-of-the-practice survey on the process issues in OTS- based development. We have studied 133 projects from Norway, Italy, and Germany. The main findings are:

  • 1.

    The actual OTS-based development process was the traditional process with OTS-specific activities. The development process was dominated by the com- pany/department rule instead of the decision of using OTS components.

  • 2.

    The actual OTS component selection can be done in different phases. The main evaluation processes are familiarity-based or Internet search with hands-on- trial-based. The phase to select OTS component has relationship with the pro- ject members’ familiarity.

  • 3.

    The proposed software development process and OTS component selection process need further investigation to be suited to different project contexts.

The main limitation of this study is that it is a state-of-the-practice survey. We are going to perform more detailed case studies to get detailed information in projects with different contexts. The intention is to deepen our understanding the process improvement in OTS component-based development and to verify our proposals.

7. References

1. Albert, C. and Brownsword, L.: Evolutionary Process for Integrating COTS-Based System

(EPIC): An Overview. Software Engineering Institute, Pittsburgh, http://www.sei.cmu.edu/publications/documents/02.reports/02tr009.html.

(2002),

  • 2.

    Brownsword, L., Oberndorf, T., and Sledge, C.: Developing New Processes for COTS- Based Systems. IEEE Software, July/August (2000), 17(4):48-55.

  • 3.

    Boehm, B. W. and Abts, C.: COTS integration: Plug and Pray? IEEE Computer, Jan. (1999), 32(1):135-138.

  • 4.

    Conradi, R., Li, J., Slyngstad, O. P. N., Bunse, C., Torchiano, M., and Morisio, M.: Reflec- tions on Conducting an International CBSE Survey in ICT Industry. Proc. of the 4th Int. Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering, Noosa Heads, Australia, Nov. (2005) 207-

216.

  • 5.

    Kontio, J.: A Case Study in Applying a Systematic Method for COTS Selection. Proc. of the 18th Int. Conf. on Software Engineering, Berlin, Germany, March (1996) 201-209.

  • 6.

    Li, J., Bjørnson, F. O., Conradi, R. and Kampenes, V. B.: An Empirical Study of Variations in COTS-based Software Development Processes in Norwegian IT Industry. Proc. of the 10th IEEE Int. Metrics Symposium (Metrics'04), Chicago, USA, Sept. (2004) 72-83.

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