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COTS-based systems top 10 list

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2 Author(s)
V. R. Basili ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Maryland Univ., MD, USA ; B. Boehm

Presents a COTS-based system (CBS) software defect-reduction list as hypotheses, rather than results, that also serve as software challenges for enhancing our empirical understanding of CBSs. The hypotheses are: (1) more than 99% of all executing computer instructions come from COTS products (each instruction passed a market test for value); (2) more than half the features in large COTS software products go unused; (3) the average COTS software product undergoes a new release every 8-9 months, with active vendor support for only its latest three releases; (4) CBS development and post-deployment efforts can scale as high as the square of the number of independently developed COTS products targeted for integration; (5) CBS post-deployment costs exceed CBS development costs; (6) although glue-code development usually accounts for less than half the total CBS software development effort, the effort per line of glue code averages about three times the effort per line of developed applications code; (7) non-development costs, such as licensing fees, are significant, and projects must plan for and optimize them; (8) CBS assessment and tailoring efforts vary significantly by COTS product class (operating system, database management system, user interface, device driver, etc.); (9) personnel capability and experience remain the dominant factors influencing CBS development productivity; and (10) CBS is currently a high-risk activity, with effort and schedule overruns exceeding non-CBS software overruns, yet many systems have used COTS successfully for cost reduction and early delivery

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:34 ,  Issue: 5 )