The content of these pages was generated from the work of the SEI COTS-Based Systems (CBS) initiative. The focus was to learn, mature, and transition principles, methods, and techniques for creating systems from commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products. We have since expanded our focus to improving the creation and sustainment of systems from any set of largely off-the-shelf (rather than only commercial) constituents (see Systems Interoperability on this website).
However, since use of COTS products continues to grow, we are keeping this information available for those who will find our past work helpful. The SEI CBS Initiative addressed the challenges of assembling systems from pre-existing components and of adapting legacy systems to take advantage of a CBS engineering strategy. COTS-based engineering arrives at a solution through a set of iterative activities that preserve flexibility while simultaneously addressing such issues as business processes, product evaluation and acquisition, system evolution, programmatic and technical factors, and vendor and customer relations. We hope that practitioners, managers, and all those involved in adoption of COTS products for their organizations' systems will find this body of knowledge useful.
New to COTS? Go to an overview.
Looking for something particular? Go to a detailed list.