Towards original software component manufacturing

Veikko Seppänen, Nina Helander, Eila Niemelä, Seija Komi-Sirviö

Research output: Book/ReportReport


This report is a deliverable of a self-funded strategic pre-study carried out by VTT Electronics in 2000 on software products developed for and used by the electronics, automation and telecommunication industries. The focus of the study was on software component products, especially on such software components that can be tailored by component suppliers or buyers before their actual use. In the report, this type of business is called original software component manufacturing, referring to the analogy of original equipment manufacturing that is well-known in other industries. Another phrase that could be used is partnership software component production. However, there is a continuum from tailored software components that are developed by the product manufacturer itself, who is committed to component-based software engineering, to fully commercially supplied off-the-shelf components. Therefore, this report includes certain aspects along the entire continuum. An important issue related to this is to analyze how and why a supplier of tailored components would develop towards off-the-shelf products. A related question on the buyer's side is the change of an independent product manufacturer to a system integrator that puts together products with the help of fully commercial component suppliers. One of the main goals of the report, which was produced mostly based on information available on the Internet, is to try to structure the present state of software components, businesses and production processes. The information that was gathered includes therefore both business-related and technical subjects, as well as the views of component developers, buyers, sellers, and so called brokers. The latter is emerging as an intermediary role in software component distribution. The role of a broker can also be played by a first-tier supplier, i.e. a company that manages a portion of the supplying network for the system integrator. Regarding these roles, the information acquired from the Internet was supplemented by interviewing a few companies that mostly represent potential software component sellers. Overall, the information indicates that there is no well-organized information on original software component markets and businesses available yet. To compare, the acronym "OEM" (original equipment manufacturing) produced hundreds of relevant Web links about parts and product manufacturing in mechanical and other industries. In order to pave the way towards the structuring of the field, an integrative view is taken at the end of this report using the roles and processes of different firms involved. Based on this view, a suggestion is made for further research and development activities.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages107
ISBN (Electronic)951-38-5823-5
ISBN (Print)951-38-5822-7
Publication statusPublished - 2001
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Publication series

SeriesVTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes


  • original equipment manufacturing
  • software component markets
  • component-based software engineering
  • software acquisition
  • software supply
  • software bookering


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