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Arcade Game Maker Memo 05-01

To: For the record
From: Vice President for Product Development
CC: Vice President for Product Planning
Date: January 30, 2005
Re: Acquisition Strategy

This memo documents the acquisition strategy for the AGM product line organization. The strategy covers all software used in AGM products but created outside of AGM. Such software comprises a large part of AGM products and affects our product liability insurance.

Our product development process will be standards based: that is, the architecture, design, and implementations of products will use all applicable standards (e.g., data interchange). Doing so will provide AGM with the maximum flexibility in locating and integrating externally acquired software components.

The five modes in AGM's acquisition strategy–buy, commission, mine, build, or adopt–are defined below:

  1. Buy. Software may be purchased from a vendor just like any other commodity.
  2. Commission. Software may be special ordered from a vendor.
  3. Mine. Software may be extracted from previous AGM products.
  4. Build. Software may be created by AGM developers.
  5. Adopt. Freeware or shareware may be accepted into a product build.

AGM will acquire (and not create) software whenever it is cost efficient. All developers–regardless of whether they create software core assets or software that is unique to a product–will analyze how the asset might be provided. They should analyze the cost for all five acquisition modes and hold all software–regardless of how it was acquired or developed–to the same development and testing standards (i.e., every asset must be tested and meet all quality requirements). Each AGM product development team will maintain an architecture view that identifies each module's source.

AGM is committed to the use of open source licensed software, and we expect that at least 50% of each product will be open source. All software (including open source) will be tested before it is included in any AGM product release. All externally acquired software will be tested by AGM personnel to the same level of coverage as internally developed software unless the software is from a "trusted" source.1

Commissioned and purchased assets will be acquired following AGM's standard Request for Bid and Sole Source Purchase procedures. The fact that the software is paid for will not diminish the need to test it and eventually reach trusted status. The costs of vendor interaction must be included in the analysis.

1 A trusted source is identified by the core asset team as providing consistently high-quality software. Software from trusted sources will still be tested but only to a minimal, API-level of coverage.