A requirements engineering method for COTS-based systems development
An increasing number of organisations are procuring off-the-shelf software products from commercial suppliers. However, there has been a lack of methods and software tools for such requirements acquisition, product selection and product procurement. This thesis proposes a new method called PORE (Procurement-Oriented Requirements Engineering) which integrates existing requirements engineering techniques with those from knowledge engineering, feature analysis, multi-criteria decision-making and argumentation approaches to address the lack of guidance for acquiring requirements to enable evaluation and selection of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software. PORE is designed in part from conclusions drawn from real-world case studies of requirements acquisition for complex software product selection. Such studies are reported in this thesis. The PORE method is part goal-driven and part context-driven, in that it exploits models of the candidate COTS software and customer requirements as well as process goals to guide a requirements engineering team. The method's approach and mechanisms is demonstrated using a well-known commercial electronic-mail system. A number of studies are presented to provide validation for the method. These include three studies in three different organisations to select COTS software products and one study of requirements engineering experts to elicit their knowledge. The results from these studies demonstrated that the method is usable and effective. The thesis concludes with a discussion of future work to improve the PORE method and future research directions on requirements engineering for COTS-based systems development.