An empirical study on decision making in off-the-shelf component-based development
Component-based software development (CBSD) is becoming more and more important since it promotes reuse to higher levels of abstraction. As a consequence, many components are available being either open-source software (OSS) or commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS). However, it is still unclear how the decision for acquiring OSS or COTS components is made in practice. This paper describes an empirical study on why project decision-makers selected COTS instead of OSS components, or vice versa. The study was performed as an international survey in Norway, Italy and Germany. It focused on decision making on using off-the-shelf (OTS) components. We have gathered answers from 83 projects using only COTS components and 44 projects using only OSS components. Results of this study show significant differences and commonalities of integrating OSS or COTS components. Moreover, the study illustrates several research questions that warrant future research.