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Protective Wrapping of Off-the-Shelf Components

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Stephen RiddleORCiD, Nigel Jefferson



System designers using off-the-shelf components (OTSCs), whose internals they cannot change, often use add-on "wrappers" to adapt the OTSCs' behaviour as required. In most cases, wrappers are used to change "functional" properties of the components they wrap. In this paper we discuss instead "protective wrapping", the use of wrappers to improve the dependability - i.e., "non-functional" properties like availability, reliability, security, and/or safety - of a component and thus of a system. Wrappers can improve dependability by adding fault tolerance, e.g. graceful degradation, or error recovery mechanisms. We discuss the rational specification of such protective wrappers in view of system dependability requirements, and highlight some of the design trade-offs and uncertainties affecting system design with OTSCs and wrappers, and differentiating it from other forms of fault-tolerant design.

Publication metadata

Author(s): van der Meulen M, Riddle S, Strigini L, Jefferson N

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: School of Computing Science Technical Report Series

Year: 2004

Pages: 12

Print publication date: 01/08/2004

Source Publication Date: August 2004

Report Number: 857

Institution: School of Computing Science, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Place Published: Newcastle upon Tyne