Decision Support for Off-the-Shelf Software Selection in Web Development Projects
Reusing off-the-shelf (OTS) components (including commercial and open source software) has become a key success factor in software development projects leading to reduced costs, faster time-to-market and better software quality. This especially holds true in the field of web engineering, where software engineers are faced with a steady proliferation of new technologies and standards. But there are upfront and ongoing efforts and risks attached to the adoption of OTS components which makes decision-making very difficult. Such difficulties are for example a large and intransparent market, incompatibilities between components and architectural mismatches. In this paper, a plan towards a novel platform concept is proposed that can improve the situation for software engineers coping with the adoption of OTS components during web-based systems development.
One key contribution is an empirically derived ontology to describe software artifacts on a feature level allowing a better description and identification of OTS components in the domain of web development. Another key contribution is a concept for a lean experience sharing mechanism. The goal of both contributions is to improve OTS component decision-making.
The concept will be implemented as a platform prepopulated with OTS components from the domain of Java web development. A cross-case study is planned to evaluate the concept.
Keywordsoff-the-shelf components open source software web engineering web-based systems development decision support experience management
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