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Improve COCLEA development practices adopting a component-based approach


The objective of the COPPER best practice action is to experiment an improvement of the software development process of COCLEA through the introduction of a component-based approach and of a support tool. COCLEA is an Italian software firm and COPPER aims to demonstrate the benefits introduced in the business operation by the take-up of a sound and structured methodology that allows developing new modular software systems basing on the assembly of components over common architectures. Guidelines for the introduction of the methodology in the software process and procedures for the use of the support tool will be defined and collected in a handbook. The experiment will be conducted over a real business case: the development of an electronic commerce solution. COPPER will lay the groundwork for the definition of a corporate software reuse program, leading to exploiting the reuse potential in the business activity and products of COCLEA.

The objective of the COPPER best practice action is to experiment in COCLEA a software development approach based on component integration in a specified product architecture.

The technical objectives expected are:
to enhance software application design,
to improve modularity and understandability of applications,
to increase component cohesion and decrease inter-component coupling,
to shift the focus from objects and classes in the code to components and architectures in the analysis and design.

For the business operation of the firm, it is expected that COPPER contributes to achieve a greater efficiency of the development process. Besides, it should help in reducing customer assistance and maintenance costs, leading to an increased quality of products and services perceived by customers. The COPPER take-up action will contribute to move toward the definition of a corporate software reuse strategy in the continuous improvement program of the firm.

Work description:
COPPER is centred on the take-up of a methodology for component-based development and use of an appropriate software tool supporting it. The work plan has been devised for achieving a smooth and controlled adoption of best practices in the development environment. Considering the importance of a correct training for the success of an improvement action, in the first phase the personnel directly involved in COPPER are exposed to an intensive training aiming to give them the knowledge and the competencies required for the execution of the project. The key staff directly involved in this phase will transfer and replicate internally their experience and competencies, in particular to the baseline team.

The key staff will also responsible for:
- defining guidelines for component-based software design and development;
- identifying and integrating in the work organisation a suitable support tool;
- producing an handbook for designers and developers about how the new approach must be used especially in connection with the identified support tool.

The component-based approach will be applied during the development of the baseline application in order to validate the approach in the context of a real project developed in the company. A measurement program will allow to continuously monitoring and controlling the ongoing state of the experiment.

Particular care will also be done in measurement preparation and execution, in order to be able to assess with a reasonable confidence the results of the take-up action. During the analysis phase of these projects, a comparison with historical records gathered for already deployed products will be conducted. These assessments will provide significant insight for the take-up final evaluation, both from the technical and business point of view. Dissemination and exploitation of the results achieved and lessons learnt will allow the wider community to benefit from the COPPER experience.

The COPPER milestones are:
M1 - Completed first phase of training (date: month 2)
M2 - Completed second phase of training - internal transfer (date: month 3)
M3 - Delivery of the D4 "Methodology adoption guidelines and application procedures" (date: month 3)
M4 - Completion of the experiment in the baseline (date: month 10)
M5 - Delivery of D8 "Experiment evaluation report" (date: month 11)
M6 - Completed dissemination (date: month 11)

Call for proposal

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