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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Sixteen questions about software reuse


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Software reuse is the use of existing software knowledge or artifacts to build new software artifacts. Reuse is sometimes confused with porting. The two are distinguished as follows: Reuse is using an asset in different systems; porting is moving a system across environments or platforms. For example, in Figure 1 a component in System A is shown used again in System B; this is an example of reuse. System A, developed for Environment 1, is shown moved into Environment 2; this is an example of porting.

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