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Choosing Component Origins for Software Intensive Systems In-house, COTS, OSS or Outsourcing?: A Case Survey
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1532-8223
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6215-1774
SICS Swedish ICT AB, SWE.
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3567-9300
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2018 (English)In: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, ISSN 0098-5589, E-ISSN 1939-3520, Vol. 39, no 12, p. 237-261Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The choice of which software component to use influences the success of a software system. Only a few empirical studies investigate how the choice of components is conducted in industrial practice. This is important to understand to tailor research solutions to the needs of the industry. Existing studies focus on the choice for off-the-shelf (OTS) components. It is, however, also important to understand the implications of the choice of alternative component sourcing options (CSOs), such as outsourcing versus the use of OTS. Previous research has shown that the choice has major implications on the development process as well as on the ability to evolve the system. The objective of this study is to explore how decision making took place in industry to choose among CSOs. Overall, 22 industrial cases have been studied through a case survey. The results show that the solutions specifically for CSO decisions are deterministic and based on optimization approaches. The non-deterministic solutions proposed for architectural group decision making appear to suit the CSO decision making in industry better. Interestingly, the final decision was perceived negatively in nine cases and positively in seven cases, while in the remaining cases it was perceived as neither positive nor negative.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE Computer Society, 2018. Vol. 39, no 12, p. 237-261
Keywords [en]
Decision making; in-house; COTS; OSS; outsourcing
National Category
Computer Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-15909DOI: 10.1109/TSE.2017.2677909ISI: 000427678400002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-15909DiVA, id: diva2:1184192
Projects
ORION - Decision Support for Component-Based Software Engineering of Cyber-Physical SystemsAvailable from: 2017-11-20 Created: 2018-02-20 Last updated: 2022-09-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Decision-making support for choosing among different component origins.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Decision-making support for choosing among different component origins.
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Context: The amount of software in solutions provided in various domains is continuously growing. These solutions are a mix of hardware and software solutions, often referred to as software-intensive systems. Companies seek alternatives to improve the software development process to avoid delays or cost overruns related to software development. Component origins such as in-house, outsourcing, Components OffThe-Shelf (COTS) or Open Source Software (OSS) are gaining popularity, therefore, leading to the decision to choose among component origins. Objective: The overall goal of this thesis is to support decisionmaking for selecting component origins. Following a decision-making process including all the key decision-making activities is crucial in making decisions. Therefore, the objective of the thesis is to support the decision-makers to create a decision-making process based on their context. In addition, the objective is to improve the decision-making process by incorporating research results and decision-makers’ opinion and knowledge in practice. Method: We identified the factors that influence the choice to select among different component origins through a systematic literature review using an Snowballing (SB) strategy and a Database (DB) search. We extended the investigation and conducted a case survey of 22 cases. Using design science, we developed solutions including a process-line to support decision-makers, a Bayesian synthesis process to integrate the evidence from literature into practice and a Knowledge Translation (KT) framework to facilitate the implementation of research results in practice. Results: In-house development and alternative component origins (outsourcing, COTS, and OSS) are being used for software development. Several factors such as time, cost and license implications influence the selection of component origins. Solutions have been proposed to support the decision-making. However, these solutions consider only a subset of factors identified in the literature. According to the case survey, the solutions proposed in literature are not aligned with practice.Inpractice,thedecisionsaremostlybasedonopinions.Thedesign objective to support decision-makers with the decision-making process is identified. Therefore, we propose a process-line to address the designobjective.Inaddition,tomakethedecision-makingmoreinformediwe propose a KT framework incorporating Bayesian synthesis to help decision-makers make evidence-informed decisions. Conclusions: The decision to choose among component origins is case dependent. To support the decision-making process, the flexibility and customization of the solution based on the context are important. Therefore, the process-line proposed in the thesis is not prescriptive rather it is customizable to the context. In addition, to facilitate evidence-based decision-making, we provide an application of the KT framework that allows decision-makers to consider research results in addition to their own opinions and knowledge.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2018. p. 288
Series
Blekinge Institute of Technology Doctoral Dissertation Series, ISSN 1653-2090 ; 5
Keywords
Component-based software development, component origin, decision-making, snowballing, database search, process-line, Bayesian synthesis and knowledge translation
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-15969 (URN)978-91-7295-351-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-05-08, J1650, Blekinge Institute of Technology – Campus Gräsvik, Karlskrona, 09:30 (English)
Opponent
Available from: 2018-03-26 Created: 2018-03-20 Last updated: 2022-09-16Bibliographically approved

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Petersen, KaiBadampudi, DeepikaWnuk, KrzysztofGorschek, Tony

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