A Catalog of Techniques for Resolving Packaging Mismatch

Author: Robert DeLine

In SSR'99, Proceedings of the Fifth Symposium on Software Reusability, 1999, pp. 44-53.

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A problem that often hampers the smooth integration of reused components into a new system is the packaging mismatch problem: when one or more of a component's commitments about interaction with other components are not supported in the context of integration. Although system integrators have faced and surmounted this problem for decades, their experience largely exists as unrecorded folklore and as specific papers in separate research communities - a situation which makes it difficult to systematically understand and solve an instance of this problem. In order to allow system integrators to attack packaging mismatches systematically, what is known about the problem and its solutions must assembled and organized. To take a step in this direction, this paper first discriminates the chief characteristics of component packaging, which are the sources of mismatch. It provides a catalog of techniques to resolve packaging mismatch, organized according to the architectural commitments involved: on-line and off-line bridges, wrappers, intermediate representations, mediators, unilateral and bilateral negotiation, and component extension. Finally, it describes the issues involved in resolving packaging mismatch, aspect by aspect.

Brought to you by the Composable Software Systems Research Group in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.

[Last modified 07-Sept-1999.
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