Software Product Lines

Software Product Lines - Software Product Lines:...

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Software Product Lines: Organizational Alternatives ABSTRACT Software product lines enjoy increasingly wide adoption in the software industry. Most authors focus on the technical and process aspects and assume an organizational model consisting of a domain engineering unit and several application engineering units. In our cooperation with several software development organizations applying software product line principles, we have identified several other organizational models that are employed as well. In this article, we present a number of organizational alternatives, organized around four main models, i.e. development department, business units, domain engineering unit and hierarchical domain engineering units. For each model, its characteristics, applicability and advantages and disadvantages are discussed, as well as an example. Based on an analysis of these models, we present three factors that influence the choice of the organizational model, i.e. product- line assets, the responsibility levels and the type of organizational units. 1 INTRODUCTION Achieving reuse of software has been a long standing ambition of the software engineering industry. Every since the paper by McIlroy [8], the notion of constructing software systems by composing software components has pursued in various ways. Most proposals to achieving component-based software development assume a market divided into component developers, component users and a market place. However, this proved to be overly ambitious for most types of software. In response, there has been a shift from world- wide reuse of components to organization-wide reuse. Parallel to this development, the importance of an explicit design and representation of the architecture of a software system has become increasingly recognized. The combination of these two insights lead to the definition of software product lines. A software product line consists of a product line architecture, a set of reusable components and a set of products derived from the shared assets. Existing literature on software product lines [1,5,6,7] tends to focus on the technology and the processes that surround product line based software development. These processes include the design of the software architecture for the product line, the development of the shared software components, the derivation of software products and the evolution of the aforementioned assets. However, generally the organizational structure of software development organizations that is needed for the successful execution of these processes is not discussed. It is, nevertheless, necessary to impose an organization on the individuals that are involved in the product line. In this article, we discuss four primary organizational models
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This document was uploaded on 07/25/2011.

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Software Product Lines - Software Product Lines:...

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