Software Reuse Quick Tip # 21

October 28, 2009

Tip # 21 – Identify Repetitive Steps Consumers Perform

There are a variety of places to look for reuse opportunities – one that is my favorite is looking for patterns with customer integrations. If a customer is setting ten properties to execute a common service call or method, why not provide a convenience function to accomplish the same in fewer steps? The other classic example is initializing objects. If every consumer is creating the same set of objects and initializing it in a specific way – resulting in a lot of repetitive code – you can provide a factory class or a façade interface. Additionally, look for activities that customers do that should be part of the reusable asset or can be useful to others. For instance, maybe after receiving output your customer converts that data to another format (say from XML to JSON or XML to plain text) – why not provide an option to get that right out of the reusable asset? Note of caution here though: what I am referring to is only common capabilities that aren’t specific to a single consumer. If you place logic that is specific to a consumer the asset is no longer reusable.

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