AdaIC News Winter 1996-1997

SRI Issues Final Report, Transitions Activities

| Tracking progress | Redirecting efforts | The ReuseIC | Looking ahead |

In the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) efforts to control software costs and improve reliability, extensive, systematic software reuse has been shown to be one of the most promising strategies available.

The Software Reuse Initiative (SRI) was dedicated to bringing that promise to reality — working to coordinate software-reuse efforts, to maximize the use of resources to develop the necessary infrastructure, and to turn the focus from libraries to adoption of a reuse-driven, product-line approach to systems acquisition, development, and lifecycle support. Ø

Tracking progress

In August, Mr. Anthony Valletta, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (C3IA) and Chair of the Software Reuse Executive Steering Committee (RESC), declared the SRI a success. The SRI’s Annual report will provide a look at the accomplishments that produced that success.

Under the DoD SRI Strategic Plan, the SRI had five Strategic Thrusts:

  1. Implement a product-line approach: The SRI provided a focus for implementing changes in the way the DoD has done business. By effecting DoD infrastructure changes and by using product-line management and engineering principles, the SRI promoted asset management and product integration. The SRI encouraged that product-line management, engineering and product integrity emphasis be placed on “best of breed” architectures that have become core elements for migration systems.

  2. Develop a reuse-based software systems engineering paradigm: The SRI provided the base technology in the form of successful reuse practices and supporting integrated environments for product-line approach and asset management. The SRI also provided a technology roadmap for the reuse-based paradigm — one that identifies central technology for insertion and investment. Lessons learned from their use have supported the continued evolution of the products.

  3. Remove barriers to reuse: The SRI provided business support in the form of a tailored business model, as well as the incentives leading towards the institution of reuse. Lessons learned from their use have supported their continued evolution, and the policy and procedure change requirements for the DoD infrastructure.

  4. Quicken technology transfer: The SRI provided technology framework products and services together with required education and training to stimulate initial adoption of the product-line approach. In some cases, partner programs were used to speed adoption of reuse technology. Lessons learned from their use have supported the continued evolution of the products.

  5. Make successes apparent: The SRI used marketing and outreach programs to promote reuse and disseminate information. Benchmarking was used to prove the effectiveness of reuse. This information has promoted and supported the practice of reuse and the product-line approach.

The SRI accomplished its near-term goals and provided the DoD with the ability to adapt to future technologies. Ø

Redirecting efforts

Year by year, funding resources are becoming more constrained across the DoD. The reality of the current resource environment dictates that reuse efforts must take place as part of the overall program/systems development efforts and priorities. This has led to a reevaluation of the approach to achieving software reuse. With the success of the SRI’s DoD-wide initiatives, redirection of reuse activities was an obvious response. The availability of SRI products and experience opened the way for DoD to pursue software reuse in the context of overall software-management priorities and fiscal constraints.

Beginning in Fiscal Year 1997, DoD is redirecting its reuse efforts away from a large consolidated program and onto program- and system-specific activities that can be successfully funded. The priority is shifting to smaller scale, program- and domain-specific efforts that support mission requirements and that can be realistically funded within existing Service and Agency priorities. Ø

The ReuseIC

One SRI activity that will remain in place without much visible change is the Reuse Information Clearinghouse. The ReuseIC will be part of a consolidated Software Engineering Information Center; its site on the World Wide Web will remain at Ø

Looking ahead

For the future, the Services and Agencies will continue to plan, budget, and implement software reuse in context of mission-related programs and other software management priorities. With the basic reuse infrastructure established and initial successes accomplished, the legacy of the SRI will be further lessons learned, technology maturation, additional product-line opportunities and usage, and the identification and exploitation of opportunities for cross-product-line and inter-service reuse.

A future, where the product-line approach is the DoD approach of choice for new and evolving domains and the returns on DoD reuse investments are significant, is one that is well within reach because of the efforts of the Software Reuse Initiative. Ø

For further information

When SRI products such as the 1996 Annual Report are made available for release to the public, they will be announced via the “Software Engineering News Brief” service, which is sent weekly by e-mail. To be added to the distribution list, send e-mail to:

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Information will also be available via this newsletter and the ReuseIC’s Web site: ( Additional information can be obtained through the ReuseIC at 1-800-REUSE-SW (738-7379).Ø