International Conference of Software Business

Software Business pp 63-78

Supporting the Evolution of Research in Software Ecosystems: Reviewing the Empirical Literature

Conference paper

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-40515-5_5

Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 240)
Cite this paper as:
Manikas K. (2016) Supporting the Evolution of Research in Software Ecosystems: Reviewing the Empirical Literature. In: Maglyas A., Lamprecht AL. (eds) Software Business. Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, vol 240. Springer, Cham


The field of software ecosystems is gradually transiting towards an established means of software development and distribution, counting numerous areas of applicability. However, research in software ecosystems, although the activity of over 10 years, is still characterized as premature with significant lack of software ecosystem specific theories that are solid, mature, generic, and detailed enough to be measurable and transferable. In this study, we intent to come closer to an evolution of the field by supporting the “localization” of research, i.e. the focus on specific types of software ecosystems. To do so, we investigate the literature of empirical, non open source ecosystem studies and intent to identify the various aspects and perspectives studied.

In total, we review 56 empirical studies that investigate 55 software ecosystems. Our analysis confirms the assumption that proprietary software ecosystem studies lack deeper investigation of technical and collaborative aspects. Moreover, we identify an increased focus on organizational aspects and a rather limited focus on business. Furthermore, we identify common technology as the component investigated most in the ecosystems, both from the technical aspects, but also as means of applying orchestration. Finally, comparing the main areas with the overall ecosystem literature, we identify that empirical studies lack representation of health, motivation, actor activity, reusability, integration, and quality of ecosystems.


Software ecosystems Literature review Empirical study review Proprietary software ecosystems 

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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