NEWS AT SEI
This library item is related to the following area(s) of work:Performance and Dependability
This article was originally published in News at SEI on: June 1, 2003
Held in Ottawa, Canada’s beautiful capital, the International Conference on Commercial Off-the-Shelf-Based Software Systems (ICCBSS) provided a forum for attendees to exchange ideas about current best practices and promising research directions for creating and maintaining systems that incorporate commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software products.
Brian Lillico, a director for the Canadian Public Works and Government Services, summarized his team’s impressions. “[Our] team especially enjoyed seminars where project leaders spoke about their project experiences and some of their lessons learned. Overall, we think [ICCBSS is] on the right track and does address the growing need for this type of information. I look forward to attending the 2004 session.”
ICCBSS, pronounced “ice cubes” even before this year’s subzero temperatures in Canada’s winter wonderland, is truly international in scope:
The conference was opened by Dr. Victor Basili, professor of computer science at the University of Maryland and executive director of the Fraunhofer Center. He provided a proposal for formalizing knowledge about COTS-based system development. Dr. Basili described a refinement of the definition of COTS to distinguish “easy” from “hard” COTS products. He introduced the concept of patterns of COTS-based systems to support more rigorous analysis of the impact of COTS products upon system development.
Presenters were selected on the basis of refereed papers published by Springer Verlag as Volume 2580 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science. These papers addressed COTS quality, architecture, and project-management topics including:
Of particular interest to participants was a panel discussion in which representatives from Oracle, Peoplesoft, and Opentext challenged the community to become better customers, realize that COTS vendors are not custom-system developers, and leverage COTS software by being open to process modification.
Half-day tutorials enabled participants to examine topics in greater detail:
In the closing keynote, Dr. Robert Balzer, chief technical officer at Teknowledge Corporation, challenged software developers to be more creative in leveraging commercial offerings to their advantage. He demonstrated an integration architecture that used commonly available COTS products to meet specific end-user needs.
The conference provided a lively forum for exchanging experiences, ideas, and formal research. COTS practitioners put new challenges in front of the research community, from acquisition and economic models to development, integration and testing techniques. COTS researchers proposed new techniques and tools that are ready for practical application. These challenges and emerging pragmatic solutions will be explored at the Third ICCBSS, “Matching Solutions to Problems,” which will be held in Redondo Beach, CA, Feb. 1-4, 2004.
The conference encourages your participation through conference attendance and submission of papers, presentations, tutorials, panels, or posters. Further information, including information about how to order the proceedings of past and upcoming conferences, is available at the conference Web site.
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