Reliability, Maintainability, and Supportability of COTS Commercially off the shelf (COTS) is a term which defines a none developmental item (NDI) that is both sold in substantial quantities and commercial in the market place. It can be utilized or procured under contracts done by the government in the same mode as it is accessible to the public…
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The use of COTS is wide spread across many business and governmental programs; this is because these products offer significant savings in maintenance, procurement and development. The motivation behind the usage of COTS a component includes reduced maintenance cost in the long run and hopes that the overall system cost and development, this is because components can be licensed or bought instead of developing them. COTS were considered remedies for intractable problems during the 1990s. COTS development came into being with tradeoffs which were not so obvious. An example been initial and development cost and time which not so much a problem can be reduced but at the expense of another. Such as depending on a third party who is to lease components and increase in the integration of software component works. Software specifications are encrypted externally so government agencies view that in the long run when changes are done to the product compatibility will be a hindrance (McKinney 23). COTS reliability can be verified using an analysis and reliability estimation technique applicable to high level designs. The technique is known as Scenario-Based Reliability Estimation (SBRE). SBRE is specific for COTS whose analysis is purely based on executable scenarios. While using scenarios, we construct a probability model known as Component Dependency Graph (CDG). These are graphs which represent component reliability, components, interface and link reliability, transition probabilities, transitions, components average time of execution. In CDG, components link and interface reliabilities are given focus as the first class elements to be put in the model. The reliability of the application is analyzed by an algorithm presented its analysis also include; reliability of its interface and components. The SBRE algorithm identifies critical component interface and critical components by interpolating the sensitivity of the application reliability to changes in the interface and components. To ensure a software application is reliable is a difficult task even if it was commercially pretested therefore, there has been the emergence of several techniques for analysis and estimation of components based application reliability. And they are categorized as: Component Based Reliability Estimation - the reliability of the application is estimated using the individual’s components reliability and interconnection mechanism. System Level Reliability Estimation – applications reliability is estimated as a whole. For example using system level architecture evaluation or system testing (Ammar, H , et al, 2004) Underestimating the technical risk associated with evaluation, integration and selection of software components can result to high maintenance/development cost and long schedule delays. Trends in computer based products, such as mobile phones and vehicles, is shorter lifecycles and shorter. Therefore, time spent on the development of new versions of a product or new products must be reduced. A solution to one of the emerging problems is reusing of solutions and software designs in new versions of products and systems. Properly handling reuse will greatly improve the reliability since the code is executed in a different context and longer time. However, reuse is not trivial; it puts strong demands on the methods of development in order to achieve success. Reuse
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