Advantages of software reuse

Software products are expensive. Software project managers are worried about the high cost of software development and are desperately look for ways to cut development cost. A possible way to reduce development cost is to reuse parts from previously developed software. In addition to reduced development cost and time, reuse also leads to higher quality of the developed products since the reusable components are ensured to have high quality. Artifacts that can be reused It is important to know about the kinds of the artifacts associated with software development that can be reused. Almost all artifacts associated with software development, including project plan and test plan can be reused. However, the prominent items that can be effectively reused are:

• Requirements specification

• Design

• Code

• Test cases

• Knowledge

Pros and cons of knowledge reuse

Knowledge is the most abstract development artifact that can be reused. Out of all the reuse artifacts i.e. requirements specification, design, code, test cases, reuse of knowledge occurs automatically without any conscious effort in this direction. However, two major difficulties with unplanned reuse of knowledge are that a developer experienced in one type of software product might be included in a team developing a different type of software. Also, it is difficult to remember the details of the potentially reusable development knowledge. A planned reuse of knowledge can increase the effectiveness of reuse. For this, the reusable knowledge should be systematically extracted and documented. But, it is usually very difficult to extract and document reusable knowledge.

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