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Re-engineering at LeCroy Corporation: the move to component-based systems

By Julia Kotlarsky


This case study discusses two related aspects that are becoming increasingly important in today's software development practice: re-engineering of a monolithic system into a component-based system (the focus of this case) and globally distributed work. Component-based (software) development (CBD) involves (i) the development of software components and (ii) the building of software systems through the integration of preexisting software components (developed in-house or procured from the component market). For companies involved in software development, CBD offers agility in design by basing software development on methodologies that support the recombination of reusable components, being an approach that rapidly expands product variation and sustains the build-up of product families. It also promises significant improvements in software development through shorter time-to-market and reduced development costs. However, being an innovative approach to software development that emerged in the mid-1990s, the adoption of CBD requires companies to re-engineer existing software systems (products) or to develop new systems from scratch using component technologies and to deal with additional challenges associated with the management of CBD. LeCroy Corporation was one of the early adopters of CBD that decided to adopt CBD to gain competitive advantage in its markets. The case describes an actual situation at LeCroy Corporation, involving several decisions, challenges and opportunities faced by the managers of a globally distributed software development team over a period of time when they re-engineered a monolithic system into a component-based system

Topics: QA76, Z665, HD28
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