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Integration & Configuration Model: Definition & Purpose

Instructor: Olu Adesida

Olu has a Master of Science degree in Business Information Technology.

In this lesson you will learn about the integration and configuration model, a software process model which is based on software reuse. In this model, software or systems are adapted from existing components.

Software Development Life Cycle and Software Process Model

In software engineering, the sometimes complicated collection of phases needed to go from idea to deployment, is called the software development life cycle (SDLC). The SDLC can be framed in many ways, otherwise known as methodologies. The most common methodologies are:

  1. Agile
  2. Waterfall
  3. Prototyping
  4. Iterative and incremental
  5. Spiral development
  6. Rapid application development (RAD)
  7. Extreme programming

As methodology itself can be rather abstract, within each methodology a more specific and measurable framework is needed. This is called the software process model. A software process model is a structured set of activities required to develop a software system. The activities of software process models differ from method to method, but usually include these four:

  1. Specification (what the client needs)
  2. Design and implementation (how to meet those needs)
  3. Validation (does it meet the client's needs)
  4. Evolution (adapt to changes in client needs)

Types of Software Process Models

There are three types of software process models. These are:

  1. Waterfall
  2. Incremental development
  3. Integration and configuration

Waterfall

Think of the waterfall design as a set of cascading phases (like a waterfall). One completed phase logically flows over into the next (with some room for going back up the waterfall if needed). In this plan-driven process model, the phases of specification, software design and implementation, testing and validation, and ongoing maintenance and adaptation are separate and distinct.

Incremental development

Think of incremental as a one-way clutch. The work achieved so far can be added to but not detracted from, much like a one-way clutch works. In this process model, the system is developed as a series of increments, where each version adds functionality to the previous version.

Integration and configuration

Think of this one as focusing on integrating existing, reusable components into a system or software - rather than developing them from scratch. Development in this sense is more like seeing what you have on the shelf first, to see if you've already invented the wheel your team needs for the task. Then you find a way to make the existing solution fit the new need.

Integration and Configuration Model - Details

The integration and configuration process model is based on reuse. In this software process model, systems are adapted from existing components as much as possible. The reused components may be configured to adapt their behavior and functionality to the requirements of the new software or system.

Components reused in this software process model include:

  • Web services that are developed according to service standards.
  • Collections of objects that are developed as a package to be integrated with a component framework (for example .NET or J2EE)
  • Stand-alone commercial-off-the-shelf systems (COTS).

The activities of this process model include the following:

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