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A State-of-the-Practice Survey of Off-the-Shelf Component-Based Development Processes - page 4 / 14





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      RQ6: What was the relationship between the selection phase and the project context, such as the familiarities with the OTS component candidate and the importance of the OTS component candidate?

  • 3.

    Questionnaire design and sample selection

The general questionnaire design, sample definition and selection, and data collection procedures are reported in [4], [7]. This study extended the exploratory study in two dimensions. First, it included OSS components because they represent an alternative to COTS components. Second, this study included much larger samples from three countries - Norway, Italy, and Germany. In addition, the sample was selected ran- domly instead of by convenience as in the exploratory study.

We have gathered results from 133 projects (47 from Norway, 48 from Germany, and 38 from Italy) from 127 companies. In general, we selected one project from each company. However, we selected more than one projects in three Norwegian IT com- panies because those companies have many OTS-based projects and would like to share more experience to this study. In the selected 133 projects, 83 used only COTS components, 44 used only OSS components, and six used both COTS and OSS com- ponents. Profiles of collected companies and projects are reported in [7].

  • 4.

    Empirical results

    • 4.1.

      RQ1: what were the OTS component-based development processes?

The first research question RQ1 is to investigate the actual development processes used in an OTS-based project. In the questionnaire, we asked the respondents to de- scribe their development process in detail, whereby the answers were then summa- rized by different categories. The results are summarized in Figure 1 and show that the waterfall, incremental, XP [18], German V-model [19], and prototyping model are those mainly used in practice. Between these, the ‘incremental with prototyping’ model and XP was the most popular. The German V-model was also used widely in Germany as the OTS-based development process.

4.2. RQ2: when was the process decision made?

The second research question RQ2 is to examine whether the actual development process was changed, considering the use of OTS-components. In the questionnaire, we asked the respondents to select whether the actual development process was de- cided before or after the make vs. acquire decision or after that. The results show that


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