(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 6, June 2011
Software Component Assessment Model
Hasan Tahir, Aasia Khannum, Ruhma Tahir
Department of Computer EngineeringCollege of Electrical & Mechanical EngineeringNational University of Sciences and Technology (NUST)Islamabad, Pakistanhasanmailbox@firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
It is widely understood that component baseddevelopment is different from conventional developmentbecause components offer accelerated growth. In the absenceof an effective component assessment strategy the developers of a software project have no way of assessing the quality of thesoftware component they are about to incorporate into theproject. We present two laws that link software components,software projects and their quality. We further propose asimple software component assessment strategy based onwhich both the component developers and componentconsumers can independently assess their component.
software component; software component quality; software component assessment
INTRODUCTIONWidespread use of computers and our dependency onsoftware has forced software developers to reconsider howwe develop software systems. Now developers focus onproducing systems that are cheaper, more efficient, requireless development time and are not prone to errors. Toachieve the above goals developers now increasingly usesoftware components that can be plugged/imported intosoftware development project  . An advantage of suchcomponents is that they largely promote reuse and areconsidered tried and tested before they are added to thesoftware project. Hence a precise definition for a componentwould be
“An independent deployable implementation of some
functionality, to be reused as-is in a broad spectrum of
Many organizations design their own softwarecomponents for reuse in their future software products.Similarly many organizations purchase components fromother organizations while other components are available asopen source components readily downloadable from theinternet. COTS component (Commercial off-The Shelf components) is a term that exactly explains the financialaspect of the component development industry. Brown andWallnau define COTS components as
“Commercial entities –
i.e. that can be sold or licensed thatallow for packaging, distribution, storage, retrieval andcustomization by users, which are usually coarse grainedand that live in sof
Using components to speed up the development processseems to present a very flexible and efficient solutiontowards reaching our final product but in the absence of acomponent assessment framework these components canprove fatal to our software project.Most software components available over the internet lack necessary information by which they can be assessed.Furthermore there is no global software componentassessment model according to which software componentsare ranked and appreciated. As the trend of usingcomponents increases the situation starts becoming evengraver because more and more developers now post theirown components on communities/groups/discussion groupsfor the benefit of other fellow developers. In this paper wefirst present two laws that govern software components,software projects and their quality. We further explain theneed for an assessment model for components. Then adetailed study of the quality attributes of components ispresented. In the end a five step assessment model ispresented that is easily adoptable, extendible andcustomizable.II.
THE STRUCTURE OF A SOFTWARECOMPONENTA widely accepted view of software component is that it is asoftware element with two interfaces i.e. provides interfaceand required interface. The services available from thecomponent are accessible through the provide interfacewhile the required interface is a collection point for theservices/ parameters required by the software component. Asoftware component is a complex entity because therequired and provide interface work together to produce thepromised functionality of the software component. Using
This research work is funded by National University of Sciences andTechnology (NUST), Pakistan.