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Software maintenance in distributed computer environments: system complexity versus component simplicity

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1 Author(s)
Schneberger, S.L. ; Georgia State Univ., Atlanta, GA, USA

The paper addresses a new area of research-distributed system software maintenance-focusing on whether and to what extent distributed computing environments directly affect software maintenance difficulty. The issue appears to depend on two diametrics of information system architectures: component simplicity and system complexity. Using a new conceptual model for information systems complexity applied to distributed computing environments, this research sought empirical quantitative and qualitative data from IS professionals to determine whether the complexity of a distributed computer system has a greater effect on software maintenance than component simplicity, and what the explanatory factors are. Results indicate the overall complexity of studied distributed systems overwhelmed the ease-of-use and simplicity of their components-increasing the overall difficulty of software maintenance. Some factors had a greater effect than others; the rate of technological change and the variety of components (particularly processors and system software) far outweighed the effects of component and transaction numbers

Published in:

Software Maintenance, 1995. Proceedings., International Conference on

Date of Conference:

17-20 Oct 1995