Defining a Scope for COTS Selection Methods

  • Fredy Navarrete
  • Pere Botella
  • Xavier Franch
Part of the IFIP — The International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT, volume 244)


The specification of a methodology defines a set of procedures and techniques that are associated to a specific domain. As part of this specification, it is advisable to establish a scope that allows identifying the set of roles and activities that should be covered to develop a life-cycle for a specific domain. If such a scope is not clearly defined in a methodology, some problems may arise, e.g., the set of roles in charge of carrying out the processes may lack of coordination, cooperation, and communication during the development of the life-cycle for the domain. In the Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) components selection domain, there are currently different methodologies which define procedures and techniques to select or to license a COTS component from the marketplace. The application of these COTS selection methods results in processes that are different from usual development ones, yielding to new activities and responsibilities that should be defined in a scope which covers the interactions of specialized roles. However it may be observed that these methods do not put emphasis neither on the identification of these roles, nor on their subsequent interactions, nor on their combination to form a selection team. Furthermore, activities differ from one method to another. The contribution of this work is to define a scope for COTS selection processes, identifying and defining the undertaken activities, the roles that take place, their interactions and their responsibilities, and to organize a life-cycle around them. We use a goal-oriented approach, the i* notation, and a framework to model the engineering process, the OPEN Process Framework (OPF), with the purpose of issuing a well-defined work team that can adapt itself to the internal processes of a particular organization.


System Architecture Requirement Engineering User Requirement Requirement Engineer Component Selection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Navarrete, F., Botella, P., Franch, X. “How Agile COTS Selection Methods are (and can be)?” in Proc. Euromicro 2005. Porto, Portugal.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Navarrete, F., Botella, P., Franch, X. “Reconciling Agility and Discipline in COTS Selection Processes” in Proc. Commercial-off-the-Shelf (COTS)-Based Software Systems, 2007. ICCBSS’ 07.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Chung, L. Cooper, K. Courtney, S. “COTS-Aware Requirements Engineering and Software Architecting” in Proc. SERP 2004.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Maiden, N. Kim, H. Ncube, C. “Rethinking Process Guidance for Selecting Software Components” in Proc. 1st ICCBSS, LNCS 2255, 2002.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kontio, J. “A Case Study in Applying a Systematic Method for COTS Selection” in Proc 18th Intl’ ICSE, 1996.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Albert, C. Brownsword, L. “Evolutionary Process for Integrating COTS-Based System (EPIC): An Overview”. Carnegie Mellon University, Software Engineering Institute CMU/SE1-2002-TR-099 ESC-TR-2002-009, July 2002.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kunda, D. “STACE: Social Technical Approach to COTS Software Evaluation” in Proc. Component-Based Software Quality-Methods and Techniques, LNCS 2693, 2003.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dorda, C. Dean, C. Morris, E. Oberndorf, P. “A Process for COTS Software Product Evaluation.” in Proc. 1st ICCBSS, LNCS 2255, 2002.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Beck, K., et al. Manifesto for Agile Software Development. Available at:
  10. 10.
    Ncube, C. Maiden, N. “PORE: Procurement Oriented Requirements Engineering Method for a Component-Based System Engineering Development Paradigm.” in Procs. 2nd International Workshop on Component-Based Software Engineering (CBSE), 1999Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Merriam-Webster, On-Line Dictionary Last Update April 2007.
  12. 12.
    Cockburn, A. “Agile Software Development”. Addison Wesley 2000–2001.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Meyers, B., Oberndorf, P., Managing Software Acquisition: Open Systems and COTS Products, Addison-Wesley, 2001.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Finkelstein, A., Spanoudakis, G., Ryan, M., “Software Package Requirements and Procurement”, in Procs. 8th IEEE IWSSD, 1998.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Firesmith, D. Henderson-Sellers, B. Graham, I. “OPEN Modeling Language (OML) Reference Manual”. Cambridge Univ. Press, New York, 1998.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Yu, E. “Towards Modelling and Reasoning Support for Early-Phase Requirements Engineering” in Proc 3rd IEEE Int. Symp. on Requirements Engineering, RE’97. Washington, USA.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Henderson-Sellers, B. “The OPEN framework for enhancing productivity” Software, IEEE 17(2), March–April 2000 Page(s): 53–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Firesmith, D. Henderson-Sellers B. Graham, I. OPEN Process Framework (OPF). Available: Last update April 2007.
  19. 19.
    McBreen, P. “Questioning Extreme Programming”. Addison Wesley, 2003.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    IEEE recommended practice for software acquisition, IEEE Standard 1062, 1998.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Pannone, R. Peraire. C. “The IBM Rational Unified Process for COTS-based projects: An introduction”. Available at:
  22. 22.
    Albert, C. Brownsword, L. “Evolutionary Process for Integrating COTS-Based System (EPIC): An Overview”. Carnegie Mellon University, Software Engineering Institute CMU/SEI-2002-TR-099 ESC-TR-2002-009, July 2002.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Grau, G., Franch, X., Mayol, E., Ayala, C.P., Cares, C., Haya, M., Navarrete, F., Botella, P., Quer, C. “RiSD: A Methodology for Building i* Strategic Dependency Models”. In Proc 17th International Conference on Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering (SEKE), 2005.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Federation for Information Processing 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fredy Navarrete
    • 1
  • Pere Botella
    • 1
  • Xavier Franch
    • 1
  1. 1.Universitat Politècnica de CatalunyaSpain

Personalised recommendations