Type of Document Thesis Author Norton, Robert J URN etd-08282003-183319 Title Reuse Of Personal Software Assets: Theories, Practices, And Tools Degree Master of Science Department Computer Science, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Ian Douglas Committee Chair Alec Yasinsac Committee Member David Banks Committee Member Keywords
- Software Asset Reuse Efforts
Date of Defense 2003-06-01 Availability unrestricted AbstractResearch concerning optimization of reuse of software assets developed and consumed within large software enterprises is prevalent within academia and industry.
Comparatively few research efforts have been devoted to exploring asset reuse among
small-scale developers who work in relative isolation, such as students, hobbyists, or
consultants. The goal of this thesis is to identify factors affecting successful systematic
software among the small-scale developer demographic, specifically
focusing on the feasibility of introducing a reuse support tool into a personal software
After a review of the state of the theory and practice of software reuse, a functional prototype was developed incorporating seven key features deemed necessary for an effective support tool. Resulting observations of the tool’s ability to browse, search, and categorize assets in ways not capable in an ad hoc approach using hierarchical file systems such as NTFS lend credibility to the potential for a tool
incorporating these features to optimize the reuse process of small-scale developers.
The prototype’s conceptual usage and feature set was evaluated in an exploratory study conducted with student and professional software developers. The results of the study revealed that these developers reused personally developed
software assets regularly, but typically did so in an ad hoc fashion by browsing the files
containing the results they needed. After performing a series of tasks typically associated with reuse such as browsing and searching in both NTFS and the prototype, developers offered positive feedback about the tool’s potential to organize and streamline the asset storage and retrieval process. A majority expressed an interest in using such a tool to support their reuse process in the future.
The unique combination of features in the prototype demonstrates that an affordable, low-overhead solution for software asset storage and retrieval is possible.
Positive feedback from developers reveals that the use of such a tool to manage the reuse of personal assets is feasible. Comparisons with an ad hoc approach to reuse using NTFS reveal that the features in the prototype lead to a more comprehensive and efficient organization of personal software assets. Most importantly, the prototype offers the potential for future studies to be conducted evaluating the effects of using
such a tool to manage assets for a prolonged period of time.
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