Software Ecosystems

Software Ecosystems

Analyzing and Managing Business Networks in the Software Industry

Edited by Slinger Jansen, Sjaak Brinkkemper and Michael Cusumano

This book describes the state-of-the-art of software ecosystems. It constitutes a fundamental step towards an empirically based, nuanced understanding of the implications for management, governance, and control of software ecosystems.

Chapter 10: Quality review and approval methods for extensions in software ecosystems

Slinger Jansen and Guido van Capelleveen

Subjects: business and management, organisational innovation, organisation studies, strategic management, innovation and technology, organisational innovation


Maintaining quality in a platform ecosystem is hard. Getting third parties to follow quality criteria, adhere to platform standards and strategy, and getting them to provide effective and usable extensions can be considered one of the most challenging problems in platform management. Especially in a world where platforms develop rapidly and increasing numbers of niche players want to participate in these ecosystems, it becomes almost impossible to make any guarantees about the quality experience of the end-user. Platform coordinators are in need of an overview of methods to uphold quality standards and ensure that customers reap only the benefits of extensions. In this chapter three methods (review, certification, and community based reviews) and 11 techniques are extracted from 27 case studies to achieve quality goals in a software ecosystem. Furthermore, an overview is provided of how a review team can be composed to improve specific quality aspects. Finally, several review technique improvements are proposed. The methods presented in this chapter provide software ecosystem and platform coordinators with a set of methods for quality management. This enables them to select an optimal set of quality management methods and techniques to guard quality levels in a software ecosystem in a scalable manner. Software platform coordinators who coordinate contributions in the form of extensions and apps from third parties are constantly challenged to maintain quality in their ecosystem.

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