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Software Systems In-House Integration: Observations and Guidelines Concerning Architecture and Process
Mälardalen University, Department of Computer Science and Electronics.
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Software evolution is a crucial activity for software organizations. A specifc type of software evolution is the integration of previously isolated systems. The need for integration is often a consequence of different organizational changes, including merging of previously separate organizations. One goal of software integration is to increase the value to users of several systems by combining their functionality, another is to reduce functionality overlap. If the systems are completely owned and controlled in-house, there is an additional advantage in rationalizing the use of internal resources by decreasing the amount of software with essentially the same purpose. Despite in-house integration being common, this topic has received little attention from researchers. This thesis contributes to an increasing understanding of the problems associated with in-house integration and provides guidelines to the more efficient utilization of the existing systems and the personnel.

In the thesis, we combine two perspectives: software architecture and processes. The perspective of software architecture is used to show how compatibility analysis and development of integration alternatives can be performed rapidly at a high level of abstraction. The software process perspective has led to the identification of important characteristics and practices of the integration process. The guidelines provided in the thesis will help those performing future in-house integration to make well-founded decisions timely and efficiently.

The contributions are based on several integration projects in industry, which have been studied systematically in order to collect, evaluate and generalize their experiences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Institutionen för Datavetenskap och Elektronik , 2006. , 320 p.
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 31
Keyword [en]
Architectural Compatibility, Software Architecture, Software Integration, Software Merge, Software Processes, Strategic Decisions
National Category
Computer Science
Research subject
Datavetenskap
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-146ISBN: 91-85485-20-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-146DiVA: diva2:120528
Public defence
2006-09-15, Zeta, T, Högskoleplan 1, Västerås, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-07-18 Created: 2006-07-18
List of papers
1. Software Systems Integration and Architectural Analysis: A Case Study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Software Systems Integration and Architectural Analysis: A Case Study
2003 (English)In: IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance, ICSM2003, 2003, 338-347 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Software systems no longer evolve as separate entities but are also integrated with each other. The purpose of integrating software systems can be to increase user-value or to decrease maintenance costs. Different approaches, one of which is software architectural analysis, can be used in the process of integration planning and design. This paper presents a case study in which three software systems were to be integrated. We show how architectural reasoning was used to design and compare integration alternatives. In particular, four different levels of the integration were discussed (interoperation, a so-called Enterprise Application Integration, an integration based on a common data model, and a full integration). We also show how cost, time to delivery and maintainability of the integrated solution were estimated. On the basis of the case study, we analyze the advantages and limits of the architectural approach as such and conclude by outlining directions for future research: how to incorporate analysis of cost, time to delivery, and risk in architectural analysis, and how to make architectural analysis more suitable for comparing many aspects of many alternatives during development. Finally we outline the limitations of architectural analysis.

National Category
Computer Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4005 (URN)10.1109/ICSM.2003.1235441 (DOI)000185997500040 ()2-s2.0-77956613703 (Scopus ID)0-7695-1905-9 (ISBN)
Conference
International Conference on Software Maintenance; Amsterdam,; Netherlands; 22 September 2003 through 26 September 2003
Available from: 2006-07-18 Created: 2006-07-18 Last updated: 2015-07-29Bibliographically approved
2. Software Systems In-House Integration: Architecture, Process Practices and Strategy Selection
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Software Systems In-House Integration: Architecture, Process Practices and Strategy Selection
2007 (English)In: Information and Software Technology, ISSN 0950-5849, Vol. 49, no 5, 419-444 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As organizations merge or collaborate closely, an important question is how their existing software assets should be handled. If these previously separate organizations are in the same business domain - they might even have been competitors - it is likely that they have developed similarsoftware systems. To rationalize, these existing software assets should be integrated, in the sense that similar features should be implemented only once. The integration can be achieved in different ways. Success of it involves properly managing challenges such as making as well founded decisions as early as possible, maintaining commitment within the organization, managing the complexities of distributed teams, and synchronizing theintegration efforts with concurrent evolution of the existing systems. This paper presents a multiple case study involving nine cases of such in-houseintegration processes. Based both on positive and negative experiences of the cases, we pinpoint crucial issues to consider early in the process, and suggest a number of process practices.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4006 (URN)10.1016/j.infsof.2006.07.002 (DOI)000246045200001 ()2-s2.0-33847683943 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2006-07-18 Created: 2006-07-18 Last updated: 2014-06-23Bibliographically approved
3. Integration of Software Systems: Process Challenges
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Integration of Software Systems: Process Challenges
2003 (English)In: Conference Proceedings of the EUROMICRO2003, 2003, 413-416 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The assumptions, requirements, and goals of integrating existing software systems are different compared to other software activities such as maintenance and development, implying that the integration processes should be different. But where there are similarities, proven processes should be used. We analyze the process used by a recently merged company, with the goal of deciding on an integration approach for three systems. We point out observations that illustrate key elements of such a process, as well as challenges for the future.

National Category
Computer Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4007 (URN)10.1109/EURMIC.2003.1231625 (DOI)2-s2.0-84882905097 (Scopus ID)9780769519968 (ISBN)
Conference
29th EUROMICRO Conference, EUROMICRO 2003; Belek-Antalya; Turkey; 1 September 2003 through 6 September 2003
Available from: 2006-07-18 Created: 2006-07-18 Last updated: 2015-07-29Bibliographically approved
4. Software In-House Integration: Quantified Experiences from Industry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Software In-House Integration: Quantified Experiences from Industry
2006 (English)In: Proceedings 32nd Euromicro Conference onSoftware Engineering and Advanced Applications (SEAA), 2006, 198-205 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

When an organization faces new types of collaboration, for example after a company merger, there is a need to consolidate the existing in-house developed software. There are many high-level strategic decisions to be made, which should be based on as good foundation as possible, while these decisions must be made rapidly. Also, one must employ feasible processes and practices in order to get the two previously separate organizations to work towards a common goal. In order to study this topic, we previously performed an explorative and qualitative multiple case study, where we identified a number of suggested practices as well as other concerns to take into account. This paper presents a follow-up study, which aims at validating and quantifying these previous findings. This study includes a questionnaire distributed to in-house integration projects, aiming at validation of earlier findings. We compare the data to our previous conclusions, present observations on retirement of the existing systems and on the technical similarities of the existing systems. We also present some practices considered important but often neglected.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4008 (URN)10.1109/EUROMICRO.2006.57 (DOI)000242376100025 ()2-s2.0-34547405866 (Scopus ID)0-7695-2594-6 (ISBN)
Conference
32nd EUROMICRO Conference onSoftware Engineering and Advanced Applications, 2006. SEAA '06, Cavtat/Dubrovnik (Croatia) August 29 - September 1, 2006
Available from: 2006-07-18 Created: 2006-07-18 Last updated: 2014-01-10Bibliographically approved
5. Merging In-House Developed Software Systems: A Method for Exploring Alternatives
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Merging In-House Developed Software Systems: A Method for Exploring Alternatives
2006 (English)In: Perspectives in Software Architecture Quality: Short papers of the 2nd International Conference on the Quality of Software Architectures (QoSA 2006), June 27-29, 2006, Västeras, Sweden, Universität Karlsruhe , 2006, 13-23 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Universität Karlsruhe, 2006
National Category
Computer Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4009 (URN)
Available from: 2006-07-18 Created: 2006-07-18 Last updated: 2015-07-27Bibliographically approved
6. A Tool for Exploring Software Systems Merge Alternatives
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Tool for Exploring Software Systems Merge Alternatives
2006 (English)In: International ERCIM Workshop on Software Evolution, 2006, 113-118 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4010 (URN)
Conference
International ERCIM Workshop on Software Evolution (2006), Lille, France
Available from: 2006-07-18 Created: 2006-07-18 Last updated: 2013-02-19Bibliographically approved

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