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In the United States, Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) is governed by Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). A term strictly defining the non-developmental item (NDI).
Manufactured commodities are commercially sold in substantial quantities utilizing government contracts in the same precise form as available to the general public.
COTS purchases are governmental alternatives to in-house developments or one-off government-funded developments.
COTS typically requires configuration tailored for specific uses. The use of COTS has been implemented across many government business programs, as such products may offer significant savings in procurement, development, and maintenance.