COTS and Open Systems
CARNEGIE-MELLON UNIV PITTSBURGH PA SOFTWARE ENGINEERING INST
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Making greater use of commercial-off-the-shelf COTS products is becoming increasingly popular. Everyone from industry executives to Congress is suggesting that leveraging commercial capabilities will save time and money while improving the performance of software-intensive systems. At the same time, use of an open systems approach to develop systems has been gaining popularity, with visions of systems that are plug-and-play compatible, where components from one supplier can be easily replaced by those from another supplier. Advocates of such open systems often confuse the use of an open systems approach with the use of COTS products, making it difficult for the average manager or engineer to know just what heshe should be doing to develop and maintain systems more effectively. Further confusing the problem is that open systems is a concept that is defined in various ways by different people. These two concepts the use of COTS products and the creation of open systems are closely related and complementary, although definitely not synonymous. The purpose of this monograph is to clarify what each is, explain the differences between them, and explain what their relationship is.
- Computer Programming and Software