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A State-of-the-Practice Survey of Off-the-Shelf Component-Based Development Processes - page 5 / 14





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most (75%) projects decided their main development processes before they started to think about using OTS-components.

Fig. 1. The actual development process in the OTS-based project

4.3. RQ3: who was responsible for the process selection?

The third research question RQ3 is to identify the decision maker concerning the actual development process. Within the questionnaire, we listed five options, such as company/department rules, project manager, software architect, software developer, and customer. The respondents were asked to select one or more from the options. The answers reveal that in 29% of all projects the development process is predefined by global company or department rules. In addition, concerning 14% of the remaining projects the decision was at least affected by company/department rules. This trend is especially obvious in Germany as the company rules dominated the development processes in 65% of our studied projects.

4.4. RQ4: what was the OTS component selection processes?

The research question RQ4 is aimed at summarizing the OTS selection and evalua- tion processes used in practice. Due to the length limitation of the questionnaire, we could not ask the respondents to fill in the details of every OTS component in their projects. Instead, they were asked to select one of the most important OTS compo- nents and fill in the details for this component, named Comp.1. Information provided for Comp. 1 was then used to investigate RQ5 and RQ6. To answer RQ4, we listed six possible activities as named a) to f) in the questionnaire:

  • a.

    Searched Internet for possible OTS component candidates.

  • b.

    Got recommendation of possible OTS component candidates from the customer.

  • c.

    Got recommendation of possible candidates from a local colleague/OTS-expert.

  • d.

    Used a formal decision-making method to compare possible OTS component

candidates, e.g., with weighted evaluation criteria.


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