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Managing Software Acquisition: Open Systems and COTS Products

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Managing Software Acquisition: Open Systems and COTS Products


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  • Copyright 2001
  • Dimensions: 6-1/2" x 9-1/2"
  • Pages: 400
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-201-70454-4
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-201-70454-9

The acquisition of open systems and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products is an increasingly vital element of corporate and government software development. Properly managed software acquisition offers potential for significant time and cost savings over a system's lifetime. The transition from proprietary, custom-built systems to systems based on standards and commercial products is not easy, however. Managers and their staff must understand the risks and opportunities associated with this acquisition approach.

Managing Software Acquisition presents the fundamental principles and best practices for successful acquisition of open, COTS-based systems. It explores the many opportunities and challenges of this approach, defines key terms, anticipates potential problems, and discusses the effect of software acquisition on the manager's job. The information presented addresses critical concerns affecting the entire software industry; it also discusses important issues particular to government acquisition.

Managing Software Acquisition moves from a broad overview of the topic to experience-based advice on managing the transition and more detailed information on acquisition. You will find coverage of such topics as:
  • Promises and pitfalls of open, COTS-based system acquisition
  • Implications for industry and government--quality, loss of control, and risk
  • Reference models, architectures, and standards for open systems and COTS products
  • Implications for cost, schedule, performance, and staff
  • Engineering practices, including defining requirements, integration, testing, deployment, and support
  • Contracting strategies and relationships with vendors
  • Integrated acquisition using standards and COTS products

Each major section concludes with realistic, open-ended exercises that illustrate vital issues confronting software acquisition managers. In addition, the book includes an extensive reference section containing a glossary, list of acronyms, sample questions to help organizations evaluate their needs, and more.


Sample Content

Table of Contents



1. An Overview of Acquisition.

The Project Manager Perspective.

Acquisition Strategies.

Looking Ahead.


Food For Thought.

2. Promises and Pitfalls.

Key Definitions.

The Promises.

The Pitfalls.


Food For Thought.

3. The Paradigm Shift of Open Systems and COTS Products.

Essence of the Paradigm Shift.

Consequences of the Paradigm Shift.

Marketplace Considerations.

Importance of the Interface.

Product Quality Characteristics.

The Loss of Control.

Implications for the Government.


Food For Thought.

4. Elements of an Open, COTS-Based Approach.

An Overview of The Approach.

The Elements of the Approach.



Food For Thought.


5. Reference Models and Architectures.


Reference Models.


A Comparison of Reference Models and Architectures.



Food for Thought.

6. Standards.

What Is a Standard?

Standards Organizations and Their Processes.

Characteristics of Standards.

Standards Maturity.



Sources of More Information.

Standards in Government.


Food For Thought.

7. Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Products.

Kinds of Off-the-Shelf Components.

Key Characteristics of COTS Products.

Deciding to Use COTS Products.

Negotiating Between Requirements and the Marketplace.

Buyer Beware.

Government Policy Implications.


Food for Thought.

8. Acquisition Roadmaps.

A General Approach.

Open Systems Highway.


The Open, COTS-Based Path.



Food For Thought.


9. How Open Systems and COTS Products Can Change Your Business.

Kinds of Changes.

Potential Changes.


Food for Thought.

10. Special Concerns for Managers.

The Manager's Quest for Control.





Transition Strategies.


Food for Thought.

11. Engineering Practices.

Determine Concepts, Requirements, and Reference Models.

Define Architectures, Components and Interfaces.

Select Standards.

Select Implementations.

Acquire Implementations.

Integrate and Test.

Deploy and Support.


Food for Thought.

12. Procurement Practices.

Contracting Strategies.

Contracting Documentation.

The Role of the Players.

Government Contracting Concerns.


Food for Thought.


13. An Acquisition Framework.

Defining A Framework.

Acquisition Activities.

Acquisition Events.

Relations Among Activities and Events.

Timing Considerations.

Framework Summary.

Acquisition Strategies.


Food For Thought.

14. Acquisition Models.

Characterizing Acquisition Models.

Waterfall Model.

Refined Waterfall Model.

Spiral Acquisition Models.


Food For Thought.

15. Acquisition Models for Open, COTS-Based Systems.

The Overall Context.


COTS Products.

Integration of Standards and COTS Product Acquisition Elements.

Acquisition Model Considerations.

Management Implications.

Multi-Project Acquisition.


Food For Thought.


16. Looking Ahead.


Appendix A: Glossary.
Appendix B: Acronym List.
Appendix C: Sample Questions.
Appendix D: References.
Index. 0201704544T06252001


In the rapidly changing world of software acquisition, open systems and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products continue to grow in importance because of their expected functional and economic advantages. This book will help you understand the many issues surrounding acquisition of open, COTS-based systems. Although our focus is on software acquisition, this book can equally apply to hardware and system acquisition. You also need to understand the relationship between open systems and COTS products. If you understand these issues, you can more easily deal with the dynamics of today's acquisition environment.


The intended audience of this book is project managers and their staffs who are involved in designing, developing, procuring, maintaining, funding, or evaluating computer systems in both private and public sectors. We use the term project manager to denote the individual responsible for completion of the acquisition activities for systems in government and industry. We use the term project staff to denote the many professionals who support the project manager. Each of these professionals has different responsibilities, concerns, and technical expertise, but the use of open systems and COTS products will affect each person in some way.

We recognize that readers may very well have experience in basic project management. We include some basic management information as background so that we can get all readers on the same page. The real difference arises, however, when we apply our management skills in the context of open, COTS-based systems. That's the challenge we want to help you address.


The purposes of this book are to
  • Define basic terms, concepts, and processes related to open systems and the use of COTS products
  • Explain the potential benefits and difficulties of using an approach that relies on open systems and COTS products
  • Describe how open systems and COTS products affect the project manager and the project staff
  • Illustrate how to incorporate open systems and COTS products in the acquisition process
  • Highlight special concerns for government managers

Terms associated with open systems and COTS products have many different definitions. Experts may not agree, and you may find a lot of hype. We need to share a common understanding of what these terms mean, and we take care in defining relevant terms.

The use of open systems and COTS products has both potential benefits and potential difficulties. In this book, we discuss both. Emphasis on an acquisition approach that uses open systems and COTS products will change the way you do your job. We hope that this book helps you identify--and be able to successfully deal with--the challenges that lie ahead.

In writing this book, our emphasis is on principles related to the acquisition of systems that are based on open systems and COTS products. If you are able to understand the principles, you are more likely to be able to deal with management issues. Thus, our focus is not toward

  • Detailed technical issues. A detailed discussion of particular standards or sets of standards is outside the scope of this book. For example, we will not present a discussion of all the networking standards you may hear about. Instead, we concentrate on what such terms as standard and profile mean and discuss such topics as how standards are developed and selected and how they relate to COTS products.
  • Checklists. An acquisition approach based on open systems and COTS products can be complex and challenging. Despite the temptation to reduce this complexity to a simple set of checklists, we resist such an approach. Instead, we place emphasis on the specification and application of principles that govern the acquisition process. Maybe you can develop your own checklists, appropriate to your system, based on what you will learn in this book. But don't confuse a checklist with the understanding of basic acquisition, open systems, and COTS principles.

We believe that emphasis on principles will help you more than lots of details will. In many cases, a particular approach for your system will depend: on your situation, your goals, and your approach to meet the problems you will face along the way.

Open systems and the use of COTS products present unique challenges for government programs. Because the government's business practices are inherently different from those of industry, we devote special attention to government concerns. We hope that, to some degree, we can build a bridge and develop a shared understanding between government and industry regarding acquisition issues related to open systems and COTS products.

Organization and Content

This book consists of five main parts, which contain related chapters, and four appendixes.

  • Part One, Getting Started, consists of the first four chapters, which introduce the basic elements of open systems and the use of COTS products. These chapters present an overview of acquisition, describe the promises and pitfalls of the open, COTS-based approach, explore the paradigm shift to open systems and COTS products, and present the elements of an open, COTS-based approach.
  • Part Two, Understanding the New World, explores various aspects of open systems and COTS products. Chapters 5-8 look at reference models and architectures, standards, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products, and acquisition roadmaps.
  • Part Three, Managing the Transition, provides information to help you maneuver successfully in the world of open systems and COTS products. Chapters 9-12 consider how open systems and COTS products can change your business, discuss special concerns for managers, describe engineering practices, and discuss procurement practices.
  • Part Four, Considering Acquisition, focuses on the acquisition context for open systems and the use of COTS products. Chapters 13-15 describe an acquisition framework used to describe various acquisition models, particularly acquisition models for open, COTS-based systems.
  • Part Five, Closing Thoughts, consists of one chapter, which looks at anticipated future acquisition issues, both general and specific to the government.
  • Other information is provided in the appendixes: a glossary of terms, a list of acronyms used in the book and what they mean, sample questions to help you analyze your system, and references.

This book uses two types of special notations to help you as you read this book. When we define a key term, we present it as follows.

open system: A collection of interacting software and hardware component implementations, and users
° Designed to satisfy stated needs
° Having the interface specification of components
- Fully defined
- Available to the public
- Maintained according to group consensus
° In which the component implementations conform to the interface specifications

The second type of notation is for material that you may find interesting, enlightening, humorous, or thought provoking. Sometimes, we have included anecdotes from colleagues. We present this special information in a gray box like the following.

All acquisition managers are expected to provide leadership to their organizations and their people, who must achieve the goals established by management. In a special message to Congress on urgent national needs in May 1961, President Kennedy gave a speech that included the following text: "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish. In a very real sense, it will not be one man going to the moon--if we make this judgment affirmatively, it will be an entire nation. For all of us must work to put him there."

Each chapter includes a number of open-ended questions in a section titled Food for Thought. These items have been taken from our experience over a number of years teaching this material to audiences that include people who are involved in acquisition on a daily basis. We include these questions to illustrate some of the issues that may confront you as you conduct your job.Few "right" answers apply universally to all project managers or systems. For this reason, it is difficult to give answers to these questions; in many cases, it depends: on the circumstances that are unique to your system. It is possible, however, to trace various approaches back to the principles discussed in this book. When you complete a chapter, look at these questions and spend a bit of time thinking your way through them. You may find some of the questions difficult, but don't be frustrated by them. Deal with them in the same way you would deal with any other difficult issue. You're also encouraged to discuss them with your colleagues.



Abstraction, 61-62, 309
Accredited standards organization, 96-98
Acquirer, 6
Acquisition, 3-4

build/buy shift, 8
defined, 3
planning, 167-169
strategy, 7, 167, 257-258
Acquisition framework, 251-258
activities, 252-253
decision points, 254
defined, 251
events, 253-254
timing, 255-256, 279-281
Acquisition model, 261-300, 315-316
assumptions, 289
chain of activities, 279
comparisons, 271
COTS products, 281-283
defined, 261, 261-262
external/internal events, 275-277, 293-294
gene matching analogy, 296-297
multiproject acquisition, 297-300, 316-317
open, COTS-based, 283-287
partitioning, 287-288
project management, 295-297
spiral, 267-270, 293-294
standards, 275-281
threads, 286-287
waterfall, 262-267, 290-293
window of opportunity, 290-292
Acquisition reform, 36, 118, 241, 314
American National Standards Institute (ANSI), 94-96
Anderson, Julie, 95
Application conformance, 116-117
Application Portability Profile (APP), 69, 314
Application programming interface (API), 32
Approval process, standards, 100
Architecture, 55, 74-84
architectural styles, 47
approaches, 47
defined, 74
documentation, 212
domain-specific, 47-48, 84
evolution, 76-77
generic, 82
GOA, 77-82, 156
importance, 76
integration, 156-157
interfaces, 76
layered, 70n
leverage, 77
and reference models, 61-62, 83-84
SGOAA, 79-82
and standards, 167
types of, 74-75, 211
Attribute, 67-68

Backward compatibility, 176
Baltimore fire, 90
Base standard, 105, 110
Baseline, 44, 207
Boehm, Barry W., 268
Bottom-up approach, 28, 55, 148
Budgets, 189-191
"Build or buy" decision, 8, 142, 169, 312-313
Business case, 131-132, 142
Buying Commercial and Nondevelopmental Items (CANDI), 246

Cancian, Mark, 241
CASE Data Interchange Format (CDIF), 69
Champion, 200
Checklists, xxiii
Code, 19
Coherence, 112
Collaboration, 210-211, 297-300, 316-317
"Color-of-money", 191-192
"Commercial item", 141
Commodity market, 14
Competition, 15, 19, 30, 91, 100, 128, 167, 171, 182, 186, 187, 241, 243, 343
Component, 31n, 42, 46-49
defined, 322
iteration, 53-54
open, 47
priorities, 212-213
Computer-aided software engineering (CASE), 68-69
Configuration, 176-177
Conformance, 47n, 218
application, 116-117
defined, 20
Golden sample, 115
profiles, 108, 112
reference implementation, 115
specifying/verifying, 114-115
strict/with extensions, 113
testing, 114, 219-220, 279
Consensus, 30, 99-101
branding, 114-115
standards, 98, 119, 310
Consumer, 25-27
Contractor performance assessments, 120
Contracts, 169-170, 229-240
evaluation, 239-240
government, 315
incentives, 233
industry, 244
migration plan, 235-236
responder instructions, 238-239
RFPs, 170, 233-234
SOWs, 234-237
strategies, 229-231
types of, 232-233
Cookie specification, 37
Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), 242
Cost-reimbursement contract, 232-233
Costs, 4, 14, 177, 184-192
amortizations, 185
cost/benefit analysis, 187-188
development, 188
estimates, 169-170, 202
increase/decrease, 184-187
life-cycle, 188-189
portability, 16
profile, 169
testing, 174
COTS Book, The, 221
COTS products, 41-55, 125-146
acquisition activities/events, 281-287
availability, 130
benefits/liabilities, 14-22, 183
build/buy shift, 8, 142, 169, 312-313
business cases, 131-132, 142
defined, 13, 126
effects of, 165-166
government policy, 140-143
licenses/data rights, 138-140, 142-143
market segment, 128
maturity, 131
modifying, 127
new, 290-293
and open systems, 125-126
performance, 129-130, 195
requirements, 132-135
selection/evaluation, 50-51, 135-137
standards, 129
systems evolution, 169
See also Open system
Course delivery reference model, 71-74
Customer, 6
Customization, 220-222

data management, 176-177
Data rights, 140, 143, 176-177
Defense Acquisition Deskbook, 246
Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS), 246
Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), 117, 313-314
Delivery agent, 71-73
Department of Defense (DOD)
culture and practice, 121
Defense Standardization Program, 120
directives, 245
Deployment, 43, 52
Design process, 66-67, 171
Development, 15, 26-27, 172
cost, 188
partitioning activities, 288
standards, 101-102
Direct interface, 77-78
Divide-and-conquer approach, 252
Dizard, Wilson, III, 174
Documentation, 49, 212
profile, 50
Domain, 65
Domain-specific architecture, 47-48

Efficiency, 33
Electronic Data Interchange Format (EDIF), 69
End user, 6
Engineering, 171-173, 207-225
baselining, 207
implementations, 217-220
integration, 220-224
prototyping, 49, 170-171, 211
support, 224-225
system definition, 208-213
system terminology, 208
Entity, 63-67
Escrow accounts, 219
European Computer Manufacturer's Association (ECMA), 69
Event, acquisition, 253-254
External event, 253

Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), 245-246
Federal standards. See Government
Filters, 222
Fire hose standards, 90
Fixed-price contract, 232
Formal standards, 309-310
Freeware, 127
Function, 64n
Functionality, 33

General Services Administration (GSA) Board of Contract Appeals, 236
Generic Open Architecture (GOA), 77-82, 156
Glue code, 223
Glue specifications, 109
Golden sample, 115
budget cycles, 315
contracts, 245-246, 315
COTS policy, 140-143
and industry, 241
loss of control, 121
managers, 191-192
procurement, 240-243
SOO, 235
standards, 35-37, 92-93, 118-121, 166, 313-314
transition planning, 200
Group consensus, 99

Hardware architecture, 75
Hissam, S., 223

Implementation, 42, 50-51
conformance, 113, 218-220
developed/procured, 26-27
evaluation, 217-218
extensions, 113, 116-117, 156
integration, 155
iteration, 53-54
priorities, 212-213
product quality, 34
reference implementation, 115
reference models, 83-84
requirements, 45
Industry procurement, 240, 244-245
Industry standards, 98, 119, 310
Informative standard, 103
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE), 69, 309
Integrated product team (IPT), 237-238
Integration, 27, 28, 51, 129
approaches, 154, 157-158
architectures, 156-157
customizing, 220-222
implementations, 155
risk, 172
standards, 155-156
tailoring, 221
testing, 52, 173, 223
Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Common Sensor (IEWCS), 186
Interface, 31-32, 42, 73
acquisition tasks, 46-49
architecture, 76
configuration, 176
direct/logical, 77-78
defined, 56
iteration, 53-54
product quality, 34
requirements, 44-45, 211
ripple effect, 151
Interface specification, 12-13, 27
adopting/defining, 26
Internal event, 253
International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), 94
International Federation of the National Standardising Associations (ISA), 94
International Organization for Standardization (ISO), 68, 94, 96-97
Internet, 307-309
Interoperability, 13, 16-17
Iteration, 43, 53-55, 147-148
acquisition model, 284-285
spiral model, 267-270

Job security, 196
Joint Technical Architecture (JTA), 69, 82, 314
Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC1), 94

Kaminski, Paul G., 121
Layered architecture, 70n
Leverage, 77
Licenses, 138-139, 142-143, 190
open source software, 310
Life-cycle cost, 188-189
Linux, 310
Logical interface, 77-78

Maintenance, 33, 172
cost, 187
partitioning activities, 288
planning, 175
support, 224-225
waterfall model, 292
Management, 169-170, 253
See also Project manager
Mandatory requirement, 103, 107
Marketplace, 28-31
COTS categories, 128
requirements, 132-135
research, 48-49, 190, 201, 209-210, 316-317
standards-based, 29
survey/analysis, 209
vendor-developed products, 28-29
Mettala, Eric, 48
Migration plan, 235-236, 239
Militarized product, 130
Military standards, 120, 242
Modification, 127
Modular Avionics System Architecture (MASA), 313
Monolithic standard, 112
Multiproject acquisition, 297-300, 316-317

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), 79-80
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), 69, 314
National Standards System Network (NSSN), 117
Nesmith, Achsah, 90
New Attack Submarine Open System Implementation, 215
Next Generation Computer Resources (NGCR), 214, 313
Nonaccredited standards organization, 97-99
Nondevelopmental item (NDI), 127
Nongovernment standards, 35-37, 92-93
Normative standard, 103

Off-the-Shelf (OTS) item, 127-128
Open component, 47n
Open Distributed Processing (ODP), 69
Open Group, The, 117
Open source software, 128, 310-311
Open system, 41-55
approach, 42
architecture, 75
benefits/liabilities, 14-22
closed/open paths, 153-154
and COTS products, 125-126
defined, 12-13
effects of, 165-166
elements of, 42-43
roadmap, 149-150
systems evolution, 169
See also COTS product
Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model, 48, 68-71
Operating Systems Standards Working Group (OSSWG), 214
Optional requirement, 103, 107
Organizational change, 197
OTS item, 127-128
Packard Commission, 121
Paradigm shift, 25-28, 35-36
Parallel execution, 255-256
Peer protocol, 71
Performance, 5, 177, 194-195
Perry, William J., 121
Personnel, 195-199
Planning, 167-169, 177
maintenance, 175
migration, 235-236, 239
transition, 199-200
Plug-and-play, 17
Point-to-point integration, 155
Portability, 13, 16, 33
Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX), 91, 113, 236
POSIX.13 profile, 105-107
reference model, 69
Prioritization, 212-213
Private standards organization, 98
Procurement, 3, 26-27, 229-246
contracting, 229-240
defined, 229
government, 240-243
industry, 240, 244-245
partitioning activities, 288
Producer, 25-27
Product quality, 32-34
See Standards profile
Project manager, 3-6, 181-202
acquisition model, 295-297
acquisition strategy, 7
cost, 184-192
government, 191-192
loss of control, 22, 35
managerial activities, 4
and other players, 182
performance, 194-195
personnel, 195-199
procurement, 231
schedule, 193-194
style, 21-22
transition strategies, 199-201
Protocol, 71
Prototyping, 49, 170-171, 211

Quality, product, 32-34

Receptor agent, 72
Reference implementation, 115
Reference model, 42, 46, 61-74
and architectures, 83-84
course delivery, 71-74
defined, 62
domain, 65
entities, 63-67
evolution, 63
OSI, 68-71
purposes of, 63
services, 65-68
system terminology, 208
Refined waterfall model, 264-267
Refinement process, 149
Reliability, 33
Request for proposal (RFP), 170, 233-234
Requirement, 42, 171
evaluating standards, 213-214
government policy, 141
interface, 44-45, 211
mandatory/optional, 103, 107
and marketplace, 132-135
normative/informative standards, 103
ranking, 133
SOWs, 236-237
waterfall model, 267, 292-293
Reuse, 16
Ripple effect, 151
Risk management, 19, 170-171, 288
customization, 220-222
integration, 172
spiral acquisition model, 270
standards, 101-102
support, 52
Roadmap, 147
Royce, Winston W., 262
Ruggedized product, 129-130
Schedule, 4-5, 177
development, 15, 172-173
project managers, 193-194
testing, 174
Serial execution, 255-256
Service, 64-65
Service class, 65-68
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), 77
Software architecture, 75
Software Engineering Institute (SEI), 70
Space Generic Open Avionics Architecture (SGOAA), 79-82, 84
Specification, 30
Spiral acquisition model, 267-270, 293-294
Sponsor, 6
Stakeholder, 134
Standard Army Vetronics Architecture (SAVA), 313
Standards, 15, 42, 49-50, 89-124
acquisition activities/events, 275-287
approval process, 100
architecture, 167
balloting, 278-279
base, 105, 110
changes, 102
conformance, 113-117
de jure/de facto, 90-91
defined, 30
evaluating, 49, 213-214
examples of, 117-118
fire hoses, 90
formal, 309-310
generic architecture, 82
government, 35-37, 92-93, 118-121, 166, 313-314
implementations, 28
industry, 310
integration, 155-156
Internet, 307-309
iteration, 53-54
mandatory/optional, 103
marketplace, 29-31
maturity, 103-104
military, 120, 242
monolithic, 112
new/revised, 101-102, 290-293
normative/informative, 103
organizations, 91-102
performance, 195
product quality, 34
specifications, 30
subsetting, 112-113
Standards organizations, 92-102
accredited/nonaccredited, 96-99
ANSI, 94-97
consensus, 30, 99-100
fast track process, 102
ISO, 68, 94, 96-97
liaisons, 49, 214-215
new functionality, 112
risks, 101-102
Standards profile, 50, 90, 105-113
coherence, 112
conformance, 108, 112
defined, 105
gaps/incompatibilities, 109-110, 216
POSIX.13, 105-107
subsetting, 112
variations, 110-111
Statement of objectives (SOO), 235
Statement of work (SOW), 234-237
Stovall, John R., 80
Stress, 196
Strickland, Sharon, 242
Strict conformance, 113
Subsetting, 112-113
Supplier, 126
Support, 20-21, 27, 43, 52
maintenance, 224-225
vendor, 175
Surrogate agent, 71-73
Synergy, 5-6
System architecture, 75
System definition, 208-213
System requirement, 44
Systems evolution, 169

Tailoring, 221
TCP/IP, 48
Technical activities, 4, 252
Technical Architecture Framework for Information Management (TAFIM), 69, 117, 313-314
Technology insertion, 17, 186-187
Technology refreshment, 237
Terminology, system, 46
Testing, 15-16, 43
certification, 174
conformance, 114, 219-220, 279
evaluation, 137
integration, 52, 173, 223
Thread, acquisition, 286-287
Torvalds, Linus, 310
Time and materials contract, 233
Timing, 255-256, 279-281
Toaster model, 69
Top-down approach, 26n, 28, 55, 148
Trade-off, 171, 177, 234
Training, 175, 189-190, 196-197
contract team, 237
Transition agent, 72

Uniform Commercial Code, 244
Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA), 312
Unit testing, 173
United States Coastguard, 236
UNIX, 91
Upgrading, 21, 150-152, 290-292
Usability, 33

Vendor, 6, 98, 126
escrow accounts, 219
industry standards, 310
maturity, 131
negotiation, 190
relationships, 139-140, 311-312
support, 175
VME bus card, 242

Warranty, 176-177, 190
Waterfall model, 262-267, 290-293, 312-313
Window of opportunity, 291-292
World Standards Day, 95
World Wide Web, 307-309
Wrapping, 222-223
Wray, R. B., 79-81, 84


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To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020