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Overlooked aspects of COTS-based development

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2 Author(s)
Torchiano, M. ; Dipt. di Automatica e Informatica, Politecnico di Torino, Italy ; Morisio, M.

Although developing with commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components is gaining more attention from both research and industrial communities, most literature on the topic doesn't clearly identify context variables such as the type of products, projects, and systems. In particular, the literature often lacks a definition of "COTS product," or, when a definition is present, it invariably disagrees with other studies. A shared definition would improve discourse and enable researchers to meta-analyze published empirical data. After a speculative effort to define and classify COTS products, we decided to obtain this much-needed understanding from the bottom up. We asked people involved in industrial projects to name the key features in COTS-based development and to tell us what they think constitutes a COTS product. We present the interview results in the form of six theses, which contradict widely accepted (or simply undisputed) ideas. We also present a definition of "COTS product" that captures the key features.

Published in:

Software, IEEE  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 2 )