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Visualizing software as ecosystems has been an emergent phenomenon. The objective of this paper is to analyze the field of software ecosystems (SECO) and provide a critical review of the existing literature. This research identifies domains and peripheries of a SECO; highlights architectural challenges; examines design and control mechanisms and discusses some of the learning’s from other popular paradigms that can be applied to address the key challenges in the SECO paradigm. This paper also aims to recommend future research directions for software ecosystems and its role in the broader context of information systems research.