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A production environment for virtual office systems

Conceptual model and prototype development
: Zilch, Stefan
: Knauber, Peter; Carbon, Ralf

Mannheim, 2009, XI, 125 pp.
Mannheim, Hochschule, Master Thesis, 2009
Master Thesis
Fraunhofer IESE ()
VOF; model-based software development; model-based architecture; product line; domain-specific software architecture; Mass Production; Mass Customization; workflow

Nowadays, workflow-oriented working is one of the most important approaches in office environments to reduce the workload complexity and assist office workers during their daily work. Researchers at the Fraunhofer IESE developed a so-called Virtual Office Document, which is a special document type that is characterized by an including workflow. Hence a new VOF Document has to be developed to deploy a new workflow in an office environment. Experiences indicate that workflows are very distinct and cannot be reused in different office environments. This great variability leads to cost-intensive software life cycles because reuse of existing artifacts cannot be applied optimally. Consequently, this affects time to market and the error rate of new upcoming workflows, which is not acceptable from the industry point of view. Thus, the idea is to replace the existing development process against a production process, which can be supported by a production environment in order to support upcoming customization requirements of new VOF Documents.
Therefore a production process was developed that can be supported by a production environment to assist software engineers during the execution of each production step. Based on this process, requirements for a production system were derived and presented in form of use case descriptions. Afterwards a domain-specific language for modeling VOF Documents and a software architecture that is based on model-driven software development approaches were developed and documented. Finally, a proof of concept, which consists of an evaluation scenario and a prototypical implementation of an Eclipse plug-in evaluates and verifies the conceptual model and the architecture successfully.