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Journal of the Brazilian Computer Society

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 201–211

First Online: 03 April 2012Received: 27 January 2011Accepted: 21 February 2012


Collaborative tools have been proposed to support different domains, including software development. Despite important previous work on the design of collaborative tools, none directly addresses the required scalability of these collaborative tools. As such, the design of these tools is hindered because it does not take into account real-world requirements for handling and presenting information to support collaborative activities. In this paper, we use an approach to compute the coordination requirements of an actor, and by so doing, we are able to identify the required scalability of the collaborative tools to support these actors. The coordination requirements are the likely set of actors that a particular individual might need to coordinate-communicate with. We computed the coordination requirements of software developers involved in a large-scale distributed software development project. Software developers’ coordination requirements were computed in four different time intervals: 1, 7, 15, and 30 days so that we could assess the scalability of collaborative tools in both short and long term software development activities. Our results suggest that, in some cases, the number of coordination requirements of a given actor might be very large, and that current collaborative software development tools do not provide proper support for such values. Furthermore, we observed that coordination requirements often involved members of different teams and from different locations, which increases the importance of having collaborative tools properly designed, given the difficulty of collaborating across organizational and geographical boundaries.

KeywordsScalability Coordination requirements Empirical study Distributed software development This is a revised and extended version of a previous paper that appeared at SBSC 2010, the Brazilian Symposium on Collaborative Systems.

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Author: Cleidson R. B. de Souza - Jean M. R. Costa - Marcelo Cataldo


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