Towards a Customizable Approach for COTS Selection

A. Mohamed, G. Ruhe (Canada), and A. Eberlein (UAE)


Software Design and Development, Commercial-OffThe-Shelf (COTS), Evaluation, Selection


There is an increasing trend to use commercial-off-the shelf components (COTS) in building new software systems. COTS products can save time and effort compared to custom-made systems. The success of COTS-based systems highly depends on the effective evaluation and selection of those COTS. Over ten approaches have been proposed in literature to provide support for the selection of COTS components. However, in the real world, the selection process is often performed in an ad hoc manner. . In this paper, we approach this problem and explain why industry people rarely use any of the proposed approaches. We also propose a conceptual framework that can be used to solve this problem. The proposed framework ,called RACE, uses two concepts: Evaluation Process Options (EPOs) and Project and Domain Characteristics and Constraints (PDCs), which give the proposed approach flexibility and adaptability to make it suitable for different project contexts.

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