Information systems development is typically acknowledged as an expensive and lengthy process, often producing code that is of uneven quality and difficult to maintain. Software reuse has been advocated as a means of revolutionizing this process. The claimed benefits from software reuse are reduction in development cost and time, improvement in software quality, increase in programmer productivity, and improvement in maintainability. Software reuse does incur undeniable costs of creating, populating, and maintaining a library of reusable components. There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that some organizations benefit from reuse. However, many software developers practicing reuse claim these benefits without formal demonstration thereof. There is little research to suggest when the benefits are expected and to what extent they will be realized. For example, does a larger library of reusable components lead to increased savings? What is the impact of search effectiveness when evaluating reuse? This research seeks to address these questions. It represents the first step in a series wherein the effects of software reuse on overall development effort and costs are modeled with a view to understanding when it is most effective.