Evaluating Architectures in GSD Projects




The popularity of global software development is expected to continue growing for many reasons for example reducing cost, improving quality, shortage of skilled people, and improving time-to-market. Software development companies are discovering new ways of leveraging software development resources that are geographically dispersed. Hence, there is an increasing need to identify and understand mechanisms for scaling the processes and practices of traditional software development to meet the requirements of global software development. Like any other software development process, software architecting processes also need to be scaled and tailored for GSD projects. Having realized this need, I started working on identifying the changes required in software archtiecture evaluation processes for GSD proejcts during my PhD research at NICTA & UNSW. I conceived and matured the idea of designing architecture evaluation activities using electronic workspaces based on groupware systems.

Overall the time, those ideas and concepts developed into a theoretcial framework to provide process and technical guidance to support the software architecture evaluation process using electronic workspaces provided by groupware systems. I also designed and executed a set of studies to assess different aspects of the framework and the findings were quite encouraing. Based on theoretical research and empirical findings, I further worked on improving the framework, which highlights the changes that are required in the existing software architecture evaluation methods. Now, a comprehensive paper describing all the details of the frameworks and its different component will be published. This paper also provides an illustrated example of modeling and mapping the activities of the presented process on electronic workspaces provided by a groupware system. I hope that this paper provide tool developers with an interesting set of requirements that need to be met in order to successfully support the proposed process for GSD projects. The paper will appear in a special issue of Journal of Software Maintenance and Evolution on Global Software Development:
A Framework for Groupware-Supported Software Architecture Evaluation Process in Global Software Development, Journal of Software Maintenance and Evolution: Research and Practice, 2010.