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Home » Courses » Classroom Courses » Integrating off the shelf Software Solutions

Integrating off the shelf Software Solutions

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    Course Details:

    Duration: 3 days

    Price: Please call 01844 211665 for pricing

    Next available course:

    For course dates and more information please call 01844 211665

About the course

AssistKD's Integrating Off-the-Shelf Software Solutions course is aimed at solutions architects, solution developers and business analysts wishing to gain a deeper understanding of the off-the-shelf approach to procuring and delivering solutions to meet business needs. The course provides an auditable approach to software package evaluation and selection using weighted matrices using appropriate modelling techniques from the Unified Modeling Language (UML).

Integration of a chosen off-the-shelf solution is critical to the success of the COTS (Commercial Off-The-Shelf) approach. Integration is considered from both a business and technical perspective: integration with business strategy and existing business processes and integration with existing software applications and data. Key areas of the course include:

  • Framework for COTS selection
  • Roles and responsibilities of stakeholders
  • Understanding the requirements for an off-the-shelf solution
  • Integration of a COTS solution with business strategy and IT strategy
  • The procurement process
  • The IT architectural requirements (application, component and data integration)
  • ETL (Extract Transform and Load) tools
  • Deploying the solution
  • Evaluating and comparing competing packages
How is the course structured?

To give you more of an idea of what you’ll learn and how the course will help you, here’s a quick guide to the 3 days.

  • Introductions
  • COTS solutions: strategic issues
  • Framework for COTS selection and use of selection matrices
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • The role of requirements
  • Categories of requirements
  • Modelling the functional requirements
  • Requests for proposal
  • Evaluating and comparing packages
  • Procuring the selected solution
  • Component, system and data integration
  • Deployment
Is there an exam?

Yes. This course prepares participants for the BCS Integrating Off-the-shelf Software Solutions examination, which is held on the final day of the course. The examination is open-book and lasts for an hour. This certificate contributes to the BCS International Diploma in Solution Development.

Course manual

A comprehensive course manual is provided and the course can be tailored to reflect the emphasis required by the customer.

Full course outline

Integrating Off-the-Shelf Software Solutions (a three-day course)

Course Content


  • Advantages and disadvantages of the software package (COTS – Commercial Off-The-Shelf) approach
  • Risks of the software package approach
  • Strategic issues: relationship of COTS to business and IT strategy, relationship of COTS to business processes
  • Tailoring of COTS solutions
  • Legal issues / requirements

A framework for software package selection

  • The ELECT framework and principles
  • Initiating the project
  • Packages and prototyping
  • ELECT matrices
  • Imperatives
  • Defining and agreeing weights: the Delphi technique
  • Published package requirements

Roles & responsibilities in package selection & integration

  • Project roles
  • Architect roles
  • Service delivery and management roles

Functional and non-functional requirements

  • Defining functional requirements
  • Fact-finding techniques
  • The Requirements Catalogue
  • Prioritising requirements
  • Function scoping: use case diagram (UML)
  • Defining use cases
  • Significant input and output requirements
  • Class models (UML) in package evaluation
  • Entity-Relationship Diagrams (ERD)
  • Types of non-functional requirements
  • Functional and non-functional requirements matrices

Product, supplier and implementation requirements

  • Technical and product design requirements
  • Supplier stability, citizenship and overall responsiveness requirements
  • Initial implementation requirements
  • Operability requirements
  • Infrastructure requirements
  • Integration protocol issues
  • Cost and time requirements

Evaluating and comparing software packages & suppliers

  • Request for information (RFI) versus request for proposal (RFP) versus request for quotation (RFQ)
  • Structure of RFP
  • The two-stage evaluation process
    • Initial evaluation of RFP suppliers and shortlisting
    • Evaluating shortlisted packages
  • Scoring system for supplier & product match
  • Identifying potential suppliers (vendors)
  • Supplier information questionnaires
  • Investigating vendors
  • Use case descriptions as a basis for scripted demos
  • Class diagrams as a basis for evaluating data requirements fit
  • Modelling the software package
  • Evaluating and documenting the evaluation: functional fit, non-functional fit, product requirements fit and implementation requirements fit
  • Reviewing the suppliers
  • Summarising the requirements fit

Procuring a COTS solution

  • Stages in procurement
  • Finalising the requirements
  • Contract considerations & reviewing supply contracts
  • Maintenance and support contracts

Component & system integration

  • Integration considerations
  • Application integration
    • The application integration strategy
    • Application integration patterns
    • Component integration issues
    • Modelling component dependencies
    • Modelling component and sub-system interfaces
    • Modelling the target deployment environment
  • Data integration
    • Data migration and conversion
    • Modelling data storage structures
    • The data dissemination diagram
    • Modelling high-level data flows
    • Data transformation & the canonical data model
    • ETL tools
  • Integration and other types of testing

Deployment & service management

  • Changeover strategies
  • Training and documentation
  • The deployment plan
  • Technical issues
  • The service transition plan
  • Final considerations

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Contact Us

Need help?

Please call us on

01844 211665

Presenters for this course

Pete Thompson
Pete Thompson