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Twenty-eight years of component-based software engineering



Tassio Vale, Ivica Crnkovic, Eduardo Santana de Almeida , Silveira Neto, Yguaratã Cerqueira Cavalcanti , Silvio Romero de Lemos Meirad

Publication Type:

Journal article


Journal of Systems and Software January 2016, 11





The idea of developing software components was envisioned more than forty years ago. In the past two decades, Component-Based Software Engineering (CBSE) has emerged as a distinguishable approach in software engineering, and it has attracted the attention of many researchers, which has led to many results being published in the research literature. There is a huge amount of knowledge encapsulated in conferences and journals targeting this area, but a systematic analysis of that knowledge is missing. For this reason, we aim to investigate the state-of-the-art of the CBSE area through a detailed literature review. To do this, 1231 studies dating from 1984 to 2012 were analyzed. Using the available evidence, this paper addresses five dimensions of CBSE: main objectives, research topics, application domains, research intensity and applied research methods. The main objectives found were to increase productivity, save costs and improve quality. The most addressed application domains are homogeneously divided between commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS), distributed and embedded systems. Intensity of research showed a considerable increase in the last fourteen years. In addition to the analysis, this paper also synthesizes the available evidence, identifies open issues and points out areas that call for further research.


author = {Tassio Vale and Ivica Crnkovic and Eduardo Santana de Almeida and Silveira Neto and Yguarat{\~a} Cerqueira Cavalcanti and Silvio Romero de Lemos Meirad},
title = {Twenty-eight years of component-based software engineering},
volume = {111},
number = {1},
pages = {128--148},
month = {January},
year = {2016},
journal = {Journal of Systems and Software January 2016, 11},
publisher = {Elesvier},
url = {}