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The Component Industry Metaphor

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The development and maintenance of software components is similar to other engineering endeavors, especially the analysis, design, component warehousing, construction, and maintenance of high-rise buildings. In this chapter from Component-Based Software Engineering, the author explores the metaphor.

2.1 Introduction

In this chapter, I hope to communicate the experiences you will need to derive real business benefits from using software components. Previous design experience is invaluable, but CBSE is both a new perspective in software engineering and a tested solution in other engineering disciplines. Before I became involved in software engineering, I was an engineer in the physical world, using a real drawing board to design and build tangible, usable objects. Many industries have matured over a long period to a point where they now consistently use components, including the manufacturing, electronics, construction, and automotive industries (D'Souza and Wills, 1999). Prior engineering endeavors have taught me that businesses will have to clearly see a reasonable return-on-investment (ROI) before they will invest in the design, construction, and marketing of components. The same is surely true of component-based software engineering, the design, development, assembly, and marketing of intellectual components.

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