Design Reuse

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What Does Design Reuse Mean?

Design reuse is the process of building new software applications and tools by reusing previously developed designs. New features and functionalities may be added by incorporating minor changes.


Design reuse involves the use of designed modules, such as logic and data, to build a new and improved product. The reusable components, including code segments, structures, plans and reports, minimize implementation time and are less expensive. This avoids reinventing existing software by using techniques already developed and to create and test the software.

Design reuse is used in a variety of fields, from software and hardware to manufacturing and aeronautics.

Techopedia Explains Design Reuse

Design reuse involves many activities utilizing existing technologies to cater to new design needs. The ultimate goal of design reuse is to help the developers create better products maximizing it’s value with minimal resources, cost and effort.

Today, it is almost impossible to develop an entire product from scratch. Reuse of design becomes necessary to maintain continuity and connectivity. In the software field, the reuse of the modules and data helps save implementation time and increases the possibility of eliminating errors due to prior testing and use.

Design reuse requires that a set of designed products already exist and the design information pertaining to the product is accessible. Large software companies usually have a range of designed products. Hence the reuse of design facilitates making new and better software products. Many software companies have incorporated design reuse and have seen considerable success. The effectiveness of design reuse is measured in terms of production, time, cost and quality of the product. These key factors determine whether a company has been successful in making design reuse a solution to its new software needs and demands. With proper use of existing technology and resources, a company can benefit in terms of cost, time, performance and product quality.

A proper process requires an intensive design reuse process model. There are two interrelated process methodologies involved in the systematic design reuse process model.

The data reuse process is as follows:

  1. Gathering Information: This involves the collection of information, processing and modeling to fetch related data.
  2. Information Reuse: This involves the effective use of data.

The design reuse process has four major issues:

  1. Retrieve
  2. Reuse
  3. Repair
  4. Recover

These are generally referred to as the four Rs. In spite of these challenges, companies have used the design reuse concept as a successfully implemented concept in the software field at different levels, ranging from low level code reuse to high level project reuse.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.