OSS Integration Issues and Community Support: An Integrator Perspective

TitleOSS Integration Issues and Community Support: An Integrator Perspective
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsAyala, C, Cruzes, DS, Nguyen, AD, Conradi, R, Franch, X, Höst, M, Ali Babar, M
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Secondary TitleIFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology 378 (OSS 2012)
Date Published09/2012
PublisherIFIP AICT

The reuse and integration of Open Source Software (OSS) components provided by OSS communities is becoming an economical and strategic need for today’s organizations. The integration of OSS components provides many benefits, but also risks and challenges. One of the most important risks is the lack of effective and timely OSS community support for dealing with possible integration problems. For gaining an understanding of the common problems that organizations face when integrating OSS components, and the role played by OSS communities, we performed an exploratory study on 25 OSS integration projects from different European organizations. The results show that the main way of reducing integration problems was the use of OSS components from well-established communities; therefore very few integration problems were identified. In most of the cases these problems were successfully solved with the support from the OSS community and/or colleagues. In addition, contrary to the common belief that understanding code from someone else is a hard and undesirable task, some integrators consider OSS code even more understandable than their own code.

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