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Merging In-House Developed Software Systems – A Method for Exploring Alternatives



Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


Quality of Software Architecture


University of Karlsruhe


An increasing form of software evolution is software merge – when two or more software systems are being merged. The reason may be to achieve new integrated functions, but also remove duplication of services, code, data, etc. This situation might occur as systems are evolved in-house, or after a company acquisition or merger. One potential solution is to merge the systems by taking components from the two (or more) existing systems and assemble them into an existing system. The paper presents a method for exploring merge alternatives at the architectural level, and evaluates the implications in terms of system features and quality, and the effort needed for the implementation. The method builds on previous observations from several case studies. The method includes well-defined core model with a layer of heuristics in terms of a loosely defined process on top. As an illustration of the method usage a case study is discussed using the method.


author = {Rikard Land and Jan Carlson and Ivica Crnkovic and Stig Larsson},
title = {Merging In-House Developed Software Systems – A Method for Exploring Alternatives},
month = {June},
year = {2006},
booktitle = {Quality of Software Architecture},
publisher = {University of Karlsruhe},
url = {}