The Wider the Use the Greater the Benefits

If you adopt a component, you get the greatest advantage if you can use it on successive products. This spreads the investment and progressively reduces the induction time as you build up expertise on using it.

However, there's more to Componentware than this. Deciding to incorporate Com-ponentware requires fundamental shifts in the way software is sourced and managed. There is something counterintuitive about buying products instead of writing every detail from scratch. Why pay for something that you can do yourself? It is sometimes said that if you write it yourself you will always have state-of-the-art code. Yet this is only true if you continually have state-of-the-art programmers.

Componentware will typically be upgraded and maintained like any other sold software because it is in the manufacturer's interest to do so.

Firms that are using Componentware successfully have a structured policy for buying components. This way, the knowledge acquired at certain pain and expense is rarely paid for twice.

♦ They build up a directory of sources.

♦ They mark preferred suppliers.

♦ They appoint a coordinator to marshal this knowledge.

♦ They write up notes on every component used.

♦ They sometimes rate them.

♦ They share their knowledge with new programmers in a structured way.

♦ They offer incentives for creating and using new components.

♦ They educate upwards so managers also know about component-based software.

♦ They indoctrinate new employees.

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