What does commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) mean?
The ‘COTS’ acronym, which stands for commercial off-the-shelf, describes goods that are used as-is. A COTS product is typically some type of pre-packaged software (or less commonly, computer hardware) that’s tailored for a specific use and made available to the general public. On the whole, COTS solutions are designed to be easily installed and to interoperate with existing systems engineering. And on top of having amazing functionality, another advantage of COTS software solutions (and similar commercial items) is that they’re relatively low cost, too.