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Variability management in small development organizations - experiences and lessons learned from a case study

: Pech, Daniel; Knodel, Jens; Carbon, Ralf; Schitter, Clemens; Hein, Dirk

McGregor, J.D. ; Software Engineering Institute -SEI-, Pittsburgh; Carnegie Mellon University:
13th International Software Product Line Conference, SPLC 2009. Proceedings. Vol.1 : August 24-28, 2009, Airport Marriott, San Francisco, CA, USA
Pittsburgh, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-9786956-2-0
International Software Product Line Conference (SPLC) <13, 2009, San Francisco/Calif.>
Fraunhofer IESE ()
decision model; product line engineering; software architecture; variability management; ArQuE; case study; Wikon GmbH; product line evolution

Product line practices promise to reduce development and maintenance efforts, to improve the productivity and to reduce the time to market by systematic reuse of commonalities and variabilities. However, in order to reap the fruits of exploiting those, an upfront investment is required. This paper presents a case study, which analyzes the cost-benefit ratio for one product line discipline - variability management. Wikon GmbH - a small German development organization evolving a product line of remote monitoring and controlling devices - switched from manual, file-based conditional compilation to toolsupported decision models. We discuss experiences made and show that the break-even was reached with the 4th product derivation.