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Component Based Development (CBD), according to software reuse researches, is a technique conquering more adepts. Presently, the majority of software products available in the market is developed using a monolithic blocks approach, with a great number of interrelated parts whose relationships are not presented through a well defined interface.

CBD aims at the definition of interoperable components with well defined interfaces, presenting the kinds of relationships allowed for them. This definition leads to reduced complexity in development and costs, due to reuse of exhaustively tested components. The assumptions of benefits in quality, productivity and maintainability make CBD a promising strategy to software industry. In Brazil, component based software engineering is recognized as a key area to the Brazilian software industry growth, as stated by recent governmental researches to discuss the viability and guides to a software component's national strategy, paying special attention to software components repositories.

The mature development of a component market can also leverage another emergent and promising technique: service oriented software engineering. Some advantages of service oriented architectures may fulfill some CBD drawbacks, as the interoperability. Services can be composed, orchestrated and remotely invoked by consumers through standard interfaces and protocols. However, the diverse technologies for software components and services development have little utility in the absence of a mature consumer market. The development of such market, unfortunately, has not become a national reality yet. Among the main inhibitors to this development, we can highlight the small availability of high quality software components and the immaturity of distribution channels. In this context, a component repository is a key element to increase the reusable components and services availability that can be easily found, understood, retrieved and reused from the Internet.

The basic features to the development of a software component repository include mechanisms for (i) publishing; (ii) documentation; (iii) storage; (iv) search; and (v) retrieval of software components. In addition to these initial features, extensions and refinements are expected in order to address important issues regarding the repository's role for a component market maturity. These advanced features include (i) flexible component concept and customized packaging; (ii) flexible publishing and documenting techniques; (iii) components' version and evolution control; (iv) flexible and efficient mechanisms for components search and retrieval; (v) management of producers, consumers and reuse information; (vi) management of licenses, contracts and pricing of components and services; and (vii) mechanisms for publishing, negotiation and execution of remote services.


Brechó project is presented as a framework of research where the concepts presented above are studied and implemented in a component library. The prototype of this library (http://reuse.cos.ufrj.br/brecho ) consists of a WEB information system with a components, suppliers and consumers database.


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