Software Ecosystems

The emergence of Software Ecosystems are one of the web is one of the most exciting developments for software companies in the Web 2.0 space. Ecosystems take various forms, e.g. software ecosystems of external developers contributing to the platform of a company or, so called, social ecosystems where users either actively or passively  contribute knowledge, content, goods and services, connections or behavior to the community.

There has translated itself in a significant shift in the development strategies for software product development in the past decade. The traditional single software product development strategy has been replaced by multiple product development, which employs a common architecture using the concept of software product lines. However the past few years have seen a further shift as the software product line concept moves towards increased openness through direct involvement with external developers outside the domain of organizations. This paradigm shift has been termed as the development of software ecosystems. The concept of software ecosystems encourages external developers to use an organizations’ software platform and contribute in product development. This establishes a community that further accelerates the sharing of knowledge, content, issues, expertise, and skills. A number of major international software development organizations including Amazon, Nokia, and Apple are pioneering the development of software ecosystems and the area is currently gaining significant momentum in the software field, making it an essential area for research.

During recent years, we have organized several ecosystems at Intuit (see the tabs at the top of the page). In addition, we have engaged with the software engineering  research community through a variety of means, including workshops, e.g. at the ECSA 2010 conference, and through a special issue at the Journal of Systems and Software.


Jan Bosch

s Professor of Software Engineering at the Chalmers University of Technology, in Gothenburg, Sweden