Benefits and Costs of ATP Investments in Component-Based Software
The reuse of software components in multiple applications and over time is beneficial with regard to new products. This reuse decreases the costs of developing and building new software products and increases their reliability. The Advanced Technology Program’s (ATP’s) focused program in component-based software aimed to accelerate the development of technologies that would facilitate commerce in software components and enhance a movement to semantic-based automation in software development. The ATP competitions held in 1994, 1995, and 1997 resulted in the funding of 24 projects, and 16 of the technologies developed with this funding are currently being used in commercial applications. In this study, RTI performed an evaluation of the economic impact of ATP’s investment in the area of component-based software, conducting eight in-depth case studies to support this estimation. We concluded that the focused program was highly successful from a social perspective, yielding benefits of $250 million on a public investment of about $42 million. A number of qualitative benefits were also found, related to assisting firms in strengthening their planning and management functions and improving the credibility of the mostly small software firms that were funded.