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Software Component Decision-making: In-house, OSS, COTS or Outsourcing: A Systematic Literature Review
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
2016 (English)In: Journal of Systems and Software, ISSN 0164-1212, E-ISSN 1873-1228, Vol. 121, 105-124 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Component-based software systems require decisions on component origins for acquiring components. A component origin is an alternative of where to get a component from. Objective: To identify factors that could influence the decision to choose among different component origins and solutions for decision-making (For example, optimization) in the literature. Method: A systematic review study of peer-reviewed literature has been conducted. Results: In total we included 24 primary studies. The component origins compared were mainly focused on in-house vs. COTS and COTS vs. OSS. We identified 11 factors affecting or influencing the decision to select a component origin. When component origins were compared, there was little evidence on the relative (either positive or negative) effect of a component origin on the factor. Most of the solutions were proposed for in-house vs. COTS selection and time, cost and reliability were the most considered factors in the solutions. Optimization models were the most commonly proposed technique used in the solutions. Conclusion: The topic of choosing component origins is a green field for research, and in great need of empirical comparisons between the component origins, as well of how to decide between different combinations of them.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 121, 105-124 p.
Keyword [en]
Component-based software engineering; COTS; Decision-making; In-house development; OSS; Outsourcing
National Category
Software Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-11759DOI: 10.1016/j.jss.2016.07.027ISI: 000384864500008OAI: diva2:913049
Available from: 2016-03-18 Created: 2016-03-18 Last updated: 2016-11-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Towards decision-making to choose among different component origins
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards decision-making to choose among different component origins
2016 (English)Licentiate 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 to improve the software development process to avoid delays or cost overruns related to the software development.  

Objective: The overall goal of this thesis is to improve the software development/building process to provide timely, high quality and cost efficient solutions. The objective is to select the origin of the components (in-house, outsource, components off-the-shelf (COTS) or open source software (OSS)) that facilitates the improvement. The system can be built of components from one origin or a combination of two or more (or even all) origins. Selecting a proper origin for a component is important to get the most out of a component and to optimize the development. 

Method: It is necessary to investigate the component origins to make decisions to select among different origins. We conducted a case study to explore the existing challenges in software development.  The next step was to identify factors that influence the choice to select among different component origins through a systematic literature review using a snowballing (SB) strategy and a database (DB) search. Furthermore, a Bayesian synthesis process is proposed to integrate the evidence from literature into practice.  

Results: The results of this thesis indicate that the context of software-intensive systems such as domain regulations hinder the software development improvement. In addition to in-house development, 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.   

Conclusions: Each component origin has some advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the scenario, one component origin is more suitable than the others. It is important to investigate the different scenarios and suitability of the component origins, which is recognized as future work of this thesis. In addition, the future work is aimed at providing models to support the decision-making process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2016. 156 p.
Blekinge Institute of Technology Licentiate Dissertation Series, ISSN 1650-2140 ; 2016:01
Component-based software development, component origin, decision-making, snowballing, database search, Bayesian synthesis
National Category
Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering Software Engineering
urn:nbn:se:bth-11653 (URN)978-91-7295-323-9 (ISBN)
2016-04-13, J1650, Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, Karlskrona, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2016-02-24 Created: 2016-02-24 Last updated: 2016-04-13Bibliographically approved

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