COTS Commercial Off The Shelf

A Matter of Approach

Program managers are faced with choosing between custom software development or the implementation of Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) Software to meet complex system requirements. The conventional wisdom is that custom software development is too expensive and risky, and that buying a software package is much less so. Certainly, we all can point to projects of either type that have overrun their budgets, or had an outright failure. The third option, modernizing the software functionality that you already have, is often discarded for one of two reasons: first, translating that older software wholesale, line by line, such as translating COBOL to Java, results in code that is often too difficult to maintain because it emulates the older language (hence the term JOBOL), and fails security and performance testing. Second, most people don’t want the old system brought forward with no updates, sometimes called a “1:1 migration” because their needs have changed.

ResQSoft’s adaptive reuse technology is equally proficient at developing custom applications from scratch or leveraging COTS software to build these systems by keeping configuration changes to a minimum and supplying additional needed functionality with bolt-in modules that are rapidly and inexpensively created with automation assistance. The key to success is our approach.

Minimizing Risk

The COTS Software approach is typically selected as a method of reducing risk, as noted above. The concept is deceptively simple: less custom code is required, hence, there is less opportunity for defects and lower risk. The truth is that the COTS Software approach can be just as complex as custom development, especially where mutliple components of COTS Software are involved – and the cause is configuration and customization. In order to meet the requirements of the users, the COTS Software often must be customized (modified), which increases risk dramatically.

A Novel Solution

ResQSoft’s approach to customizing COTS software for complex systems such as Enterprise Resource Program (ERP), IF the COTS alternative is selected, starts with a gap analysis comparing what the ERP will do with the existing legacy software and current business needs. When functionality is missing, there are 3 solutions:

  • Customize the ERP
  • Modernize a legacy software module and “bolt on” to the ERP; or
  • Rapidly develop a new software module and integrate it with the ERP

This approach greatly limits the need to modify the COTS software internally, which eliminates a great deal of risk and dramatically reduces your cost and implementation time. More importantly, by adhering to a single development architecture, changing requirements are easily addressed over the life of the project. With Engineer supplementing the COTS software, changing requirements can be managed very effectively. We can add screens, we can extend the COTS package database and capture additional data elements to meet user requirements, we can build additional reports, and we can generate additional functionality and system interfaces. Here’s how we modernize software with Java. Or, if your interest is a .NET modernization, we can give you .NET Core or ASP MVC, either one. With ResQSoft Engineer, modernization and new development both are driven by the same technology!

Not Happy with Your Current COTS Package?

Exhorbitant license fees? Vendor unresponsive? We can redevelop the functionality in your existing COTS business system, leaving you with 100% fresh source code that you own. It’s more affordable than you think, and we don’t even need access to the COTS software source code to do it!

ResQSoft Succeeds

More than 50% of large software projects based on COTS software fail. With ResQSoft, success is achieved by using an approach that greatly reduces risk. Engineer manages the modification of COTS software – one or many – and easily accommodates changing requirements as the project progresses.

COTS? — Let ResQSoft® Help You

In the ’70s and ’80s, we did not believe that we were writing legacy systems when we developed large business applications in COBOL.  Yet, that’s what happened.  So, how do you avoid creating another such situation?  What happens in six years if the modern language you choose today becomes unsupported and some new language is the new platform of choice? It happened to people who selected Forte, SilverStream, GWT and GXT, and Adobe Flex, after all.

Well, if you modernize with Engineer, you will save dramatically on making further platform changes, because your code is properly structured, documented, and completely standardized – and chances are we will support the new platform and can re-generate the bulk of your code to fit.

Please contact us to discuss your specific requirements, and how ResQSoft® Engineer and our staff of experienced software engineers can migrate your system to the Web – the right way.