Measuring the Impact of Reuse on Quality and Productivity in Object-Oriented Systems

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This paper presents the results of a study conducted at the University of Maryland in which we assessed the impact of reuse on quality and productivity in OO systems. Reuse is assumed to be a very effective strategy for software industry to build high-quality software. However, there is currently very little empirical information about what we can expect from reuse in terms of productivity and quality gains. This also applies to OO development which is supposed to facilitate reuse. Our experiment is one step towards a better understanding of the benefits of reuse in an OO framework, considering currently available technology. Data was collected, for four months, on the development of eight medium-size management information systems with equivalent requirements. All eight projects were developed using the Waterfall Software Engineering Life Cycle Model, an Object-Oriented (OO) design method and the C++ programming language. This study indicates significant benefits from reuse in terms of reduced defect density and rework as well as increased productivity. (Also cross-referenced as UMIACS-TR-95-2)