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Constructive COTS (COCOTS) Model


Lead Personnel: Chris Abts, Ye Yang

Objectives: Develop a cost estimation model to capture explicitly the most important costs associated with COTS-based software development and maintenance.

Approach: At present, COCOTS is designed as an amalgam of three related sub-models, each addressing individually what we have identified as the three primary sources of COTS software integration costs. These are costs due to the effort needed to perform: (1) candidate COTS component assessment, (2) COTS component tailoring, and (3) the development and testing of any integration or "glue" code needed to plug a COTS component into a larger system.
Assessment is the process by which COTS components are selected for use in the larger system being developed. Tailoring refers to those activities that would have to be performed to prepare a particular COTS program for use, regardless of the system into which it is being incorporated, or even if operating as a stand-alone item. These are things such as initializing parameter values, specifying I/O screens or report formats, setting up security protocols, etc. Glue code development and testing refers to the new code external to the COTS component itself that must be written in order to plug the component into the larger system. This code by nature is unique to the particular context in which the COTS component is being used, and must not be confused with tailoring activity as defined above.

Results:

  1. C. Abts, B. Boehm, "COTS Software Integration Cost Modeling Study," USC Tech. Report, June 1997.
  2. C. Abts, B. Boehm, and B. Clark, "COCOTS: a COTS software integration cost model," Proceedings ESCOM-SCOPE 2000 Conference.
  3. C. Abts, "A Perspective on the Economic Life Span of COTS-based Software Systems: the COTS-LIMO Model," USC Tech Report, 2000.
Future Plans: Collecting project data and calibrate COCOTS model.