Status of Empirical Research in Component Based Software Engineering - A Systematic Literature Review of empirical studies
Abstract: Objective: In this paper we present a systematic literature review of the empirical research in Component Based Software Engineering (CBSE). CBSE has evolved as a popular software development methodology since the introduction of Microsoft’s Component Object Model (COM) in the early 90s. The purpose of CBSE is to develop systems by incorporating various independent yet well-defined software pieces in the name of components. The objective of this study is to identify the amount of empirical research done, the types of empirical studies and the research topics that are being discussed in the literature. Method: We performed a systematic literature review of the papers that were published between January 1995 and August 2011. CBSE attained much of the industry’s attention only after the introduction of Microsoft’s COM, Sun Microsystems’s JavaBeans and OMG’s CORBA in the early 90s which showed up after 1993, thus we chose 1995 as the starting point for research on CBSE. We followed the guidelines of Kitchenham in performing the review. Results: We found 47 papers which is the amount of empirical research that has been done during this period. Case study research and Experimentation were the most prevalent and preferred research methodologies which constituted 40.5% and 42.5% respectively. The research topics that were the most discussed among these papers are Implementation of Components, Selection of Components and Quality of Components which constituted 14.9%, 12.8% and 10.6% respectively. Conclusion: From this study we found certain areas of CBSE (Integration, Testing and Storage of Components) which we consider necessary to be researched through Industrial Case Studies and Experiments as valuable insights of the current-state-of-practice in the industry can be explored. Regarding the industrial empirical research we observed that much of the studies were done in Europe where we highlight the need for a more geographical prevalence of industrial research considering the benefits of a socio-economic and business environment. Finally, we identified few interesting topics or subjects regarding the CBSE process which were not focused in the empirical research that has been done so far.
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