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Software systems today are composed from prefabricated commercial components and connectors that provide complex functionality and engage in complex interactions. Unfortunately, because of the distinct assumptions made by developers of these products, successfully integrating them into a software system can be complicated, often causing budget and schedule overruns. A number of integration risks can often be resolved by selecting the 'right' set of COTS components and connectors that can be integrated with minimal effort. In this paper we describe a framework for selecting COTS software components and connectors ensuring their interoperability in software-intensive systems. Our framework is built upon standard definitions of both COTS components and connectors and is intended for use by architects and developers during the design phase of a software system. We highlight the utility of our framework using a challenging example from the data-intensive systems domain. Our preliminary experience in using the framework indicates an increase in interoperability assessment productivity by 50% and accuracy by 20%.
Date of Conference: 6-9 Jan. 2007