Commercial off-the-shelf

As a commercial off -the-shelf, or components- off-the -shelf (English for commercial off the shelf ) or short COTS mass-produced products from the electronics and software sector (see standard software ) are known, the completely in large numbers similar ( sl "off the shelf " ) to be sold up. This can for example be practiced in Office products or inventory management systems.


The fact that from the factory, no adjustments are made to the needs of individual clients, the user hopes to extensive cost reductions, since the development costs are not borne by the customer alone, but by the market. Especially in the authority area, as well as in military applications just takes a far-reaching transition to COTS instead; the military especially of specially developed, rugged devices to solutions using standard PC hardware.

In recent years it has also become a debatable alternative in the development of computer clusters, rather than providing purpose-built hardware large numbers of cheaper, similar off-the -shelf computer used. It is used as the operating system commonly Linux, see also Beowulf (clusters).


A special form of COTS, although is out of mass production are available, but can still be adjusted to the needs of the end user or needs, MOTS is.

The opposite of COTS are self-developed industry solutions that are developed for individual clients as an authority or a company. The English term for such individualized solutions is customer furnished items / materials, short or CFI CFM to German about custom components. One example is application specific integrated circuits (application specific integrated circuits - ASICs).


  • Economic computer science