Essay: Mission-Critical Development with Open Source Software

Essay: Mission-Critical Development with Open Source Software
14/04/2011 Comments Off on Essay: Mission-Critical Development with Open Source Software Academic Papers on Information Technology,Sample Academic Papers admin

Sample Essay

Problem Statement

This research paper by Jeff Norris present the an example of open source software components used in the industry .It uses the example of Science Activity Planner, which was developed by NASA using the open source components. Science Activity Planner was used by NASA to control the Martian rovers, Spirit and Opportunity on the surface of mars. The requirements of NASA included features 2D and 3D data visualization, image processing and resource analysis.

Review of the Article

Some of the research questions that were answered in this paper were clearly mentioned in the start, others however were implicated in the paper. These question were regarding the contribution of Science Activity Planner (SAP), a software built using open source components,  to the mission critical operations of Mars rovers, the lessons learned and advantages earned  in the development of the software and how SAP, being an open source software, offered a better alternative to commercial software. The research can be classified as justified, as it presents a unique example of how open source components can successfully to fulfil important or even mission critical objectives. Though the research is not significant, its outcome is worth discovering as it serves as a massive plus point in the favour of experts who back free software (Bonaccorsi & Rossi, 2000).

The paper discusses the earlier researches done during the development of the SAP software. This paper connects with the previous research by presenting the lessons learned during the development of that software and using open source software such as SAP benefitted NASA. The theory presented in this paper is that a software built using open source components offer a very good alternative to commercial software when it comes to supporting mission critical software. An application of this theory was presented in this paper as an example of Science Activity Planner in NASA with a detail discussion of its development and advantages. This article presents it research in a positivistic paradigm.

This article presents its research in a positivistic paradigm. It makes epistemological assumptions that the knowledge can be described in a systematic way, that knowledge is accurate and testing theories in a controlled setting, empirically supporting or falsifying hypothesis through the process of experimentation (Voce, 2004). The research itself does not discuss the paradigm and assumption but it is implied from the context. The research conducted for this paper was through experiment, experience and through literature search. The research presents a specific case of NASA, answering the entire questions that have been identified. The use of open source component for in-house development offered several advantages for NASA developer. Not only they encountered less bugs but also the response of component developers to NASA was very quick. The use of open source components offered the flexibility to NASA developers in a sense that they were able to modify and enhances the components to suit them according to their need. It also offered the software longevity by diversifying the development team and maturity through constant modification, enhancement and removal of bugs by the developers. Though the software present a solid example of open source software component use in NASA, however, it seems to present only one side of the argument of  commercial versus open source software. The article present an important example of the use of open source components  in a mission critical software and suggest it that open source components can be used for important applications as well. This would encourage other IT practitioners an insight of the development problems that he may face when using open source components but also to experiment with open source software in other fields of IT as well. Theory that a software built using open source components offer a very good alternative to commercial software is proven by providing an example of Science Activity Planner in NASA. The researcher in the field of IT can use this base to base their research on the further signify the importance of open source software and components paradigm (Shunsuke, Tooru, Daigoro, & Yasuhiro, 2006).

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