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An increasing number of organizations are using software applications of larger applications. In this new role, acquired software must integrate with other software functionality. In the introduction to the cover features, the author describes why the industry is moving toward a software design paradigm in which many of the needed software functions already exist. The developer's task, then, becomes one of accurately selecting functions and integrating them into a system. The problem is that commercial, off-the- shelf (COTS) software is almost always delivered in a black box with restrictions that keep developers from looking inside. Therefore, most forms of software analysis that would help developers decide if the software is going to perform safely, securely, and reliably are not available. Developers are thus at the mercy of the software vendor in many ways. The author argues that to achieve the goal of widespread component-based engineering, the industry must overcome challenges related to safety, reliability, and security. If the industry cannot adequately address these problems, the goal may remain unmet.

J. M. Voas, "The Challenges of Using COTS Software in Component-Based Development," in Computer, vol. 31, no. , pp. 44-45, 1998.
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