Computer Science

What are the legal and ethical implications of using COTS software? Of using subcontractors? For example, who is responsible for fixing the problem when the major system fails as a result of a fault in COTS software? Who is liable when such a failure causes harm to the users, directly (as when the automatic brakes fail in a car) or indirectly (as when the wrong information is supplied to another system, as we saw in Exercise 1).

What checks and balances are needed to ensure the quality of COTS software before it is integrated into a larger system?

Many organizations buy commercial software, thinking it is cheaper than developing and maintaining software in-house. Describe the pros and cons of using COTS software. For example, what happens if the COTS products are no longer supported by their vendors?

What must the customer, user, and developer anticipate when designing a product that uses COTS software in a large system?

Many developers equate technical quality with overall product quality. Give an example of a product with high technical quality that is not considered high quality by the customer.

Are there ethical issues involved in narrowing the view of quality to consider only technical quality? Use the Therac-25 example to illustrate your point.


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